Published: October 2019

ID #: 1112

Journal: Am J Public Health

Authors: Kumanyika SK

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One of the most pressing unmet challenges for preventing and controlling epidemic obesity is ensuring that socially disadvantaged populations benefit from relevant public health interventions. Obesity levels are disproportionately high in ethnic minority, low-income, and other socially marginalized U.S. population groups. Current policy, systems, and environmental change interventions target obesity-promoting aspects of physical, economic, social, and information environments but do not necessarily account for inequities in environmental contexts and, therefore, may perpetuate disparities. Dr. Shiriki Kumanyika proposes a framework to guide practitioners and researchers in public health and other fields that contribute to obesity prevention in identifying ways to give greater priority to equity issues when undertaking policy, systems, and environmental change strategies. The article describes the framework rationale and elements and provides research and practice examples of its use in the U.S. context. The approach may also apply to other health problems and in countries where similar inequities are observed.

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