Obesity and Its Disproportionate Impact on Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations
Play • 20 min

The vexing problem of the increasing weight of Americans has grown to epidemic proportions in recent decades. As millions of people enter older adulthood, they bring with them added pounds and the challenges of excessive body fat. Now recognized as a chronic medical condition, obesity is associated with serious health problems that increase morbidity and mortality, stigmatization at work and in social settings, decreased physical function, lower health-related quality of life, and increased direct and indirect health care costs. When combined with common aging-related challenges, obesity can create complex clinical situations without easy solutions. 

In this episode, Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford speaks with Dr. Tamara A. Baker, addressing the issue of obesity and specifically how the prevalence of obesity is different in communities of color versus majority communities in the United States. Dr. Stanford reviews the different factors that contribute to the high burden of obesity in racial and ethnic minority populations, why there appears to be worsened outcomes in patients who have obesity and COVID-19, and strategies that can be utilized to address excess weight in communities with high prevalence of obesity, especially in older adults.  The interview closes out with a review of barriers to receiving treatment and an overview of legislation has been proposed to help address the epidemic of obesity in our communities.

Guest: Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, MPH, MPA, FAAP, FACP, FAHA, FTOS
Obesity Medicine Physician Scientist, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Host: Tamara A. Baker, PhD, FGSA
Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This podcast episode is supported by Novo Nordisk. Content was developed by The Gerontological Society of America (GSA).

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