Did you know...Harlem has some of the highest rates of obesity and you can do something about it?

Editor June 14th, 2011

Harlem residents have among the highest rates of obesity in Manhattan. What is obesity and how can Harlem overcome these statistics?

Harlem residents have among the highest rates of obesity in Manhattan. What is obesity and how can Harlem overcome these statistics?

Obesity in your neighborhood

East and Central Harlem have among the highest rates of obesity in Manhattan. Obesity in Harlem is two and three times more likely than in neighboring areas.

THE FACTS: If 100 people from each of the four neighborhoods listed below attended an event at their local church, this chart shows you how many of those 100 people would be obese at that event.

Neighborhood Number of obese people at event:

  • East Harlem 31
  • Central Harlem 27
  • Upper East Side 8
  • Upper West Side 10

Your health risk: Overweight vs. obese

Being overweight can cause health problems, but a person who is obese (about 30 pounds overweight) has more severe health risks compared with an overweight person. If you are overweight, it is important for you to take steps to live a healthier lifestyle before obesity puts you at risk for major illnesses.

How can you tell if you are obese?

It is not easy to measure obesity. The most accurate way to measure it might require you to be weighed underwater or other special ways that are not readily available to the public. However, you can estimate the amount of body fat you have by using BMI.

Body Mass Index

The BMI is a tool used to calculate overweight and obesity.

TRY IT: Find your BMI

1) Find your weight on the bottom of the graph.

2) Follow that line until you find your height on the left side of the grid.

Example: If you are 5'2" and 178 pounds, you are considered obese.

Did you know? BMI does not directly measure body fat or muscle. For example, a muscular bodybuilder with little body fat may have the same BMI as a person who has more body fat. However, if a BMI is 30 or higher, it usually means there is too much body fat.

Find out more about the factors that can lead to obesity.

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