Although healthcare reform promises more options for low to moderate- income Americans, the obesity epidemic facing this country is a systemic problem tied to emotional, communal, and spiritual voids. More than one third (35.8%) of America is obese. According to the Centers of Disease Control, obesity is the number one threat to the health of Americans -spanning across all ethnic groups. The
most highly impacted ethnic groups areAfrican Americans and Latinos. Within the African American community, four out of five black women have a body mass index above 25 percent (the threshold for being over weight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control). A history of socio-economic stressors,poor dietary choices, and limited access
to preventive care are major contributors among both ethnic groups.
A new study recently published by Purdue University, examined the relationships between religion and both body mass index (BMI) and obesity. The study revealed that church members tend to be more overweight than the general population. Both ethnic groups (African American and Latinos) are deeply rooted in the church.