The Hispanic paradox in the prevalence of obesity at the county-level. Obesity science & practice Valencia, A., Zuma, B. Z., Spencer-Bonilla, G., López, L., Scheinker, D., Rodriguez, F. 2021; 7 (1): 14-24


The percentage of Hispanics in a county has a negative association with prevalence of obesity. Because Hispanic individuals are unevenly distributed in the United States, this study examined whether this protective association persists when stratifying counties into quartiles based on the size of the Hispanic population and after adjusting for county-level demographic, socioeconomic, healthcare, and environmental factors.Data were extracted from the 2018 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation County Health Rankings. Counties were categorized into quartiles based on their percentage of Hispanics, 0%-5% (n = 1794), 5%-20% (n = 962), 20%-50% (n = 283), and >50% (n = 99). For each quartile, univariate and multivariate regression models were used to evaluate the association between prevalence of obesity and demographic, socioeconomic, healthcare, and environmental factors.Counties with the top quartile of Hispanic individuals had the lowest prevalence of obesity compared to counties at the bottom quartile (28.4 ± 3.6% vs. 32.7 ± 4.0%). There was a negative association between county-level percentage of Hispanics and prevalence of obesity in unadjusted analyses that persisted after adjusting for all county-level factors.Counties with a higher percentage of Hispanics have lower levels of obesity, even after controlling for demographic, socioeconomic, healthcare, and environmental factors. More research is needed to elucidate why having more Hispanics in a county may be protective against county-level obesity.

View details for DOI 10.1002/osp4.461

View details for PubMedID 33680488

View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7909595