Wilks, Rainford J.; McFarlane Anderson, Norma; Bennett, Franklyn I.; Fraser, Henry S.; McGee, Daniel L.; Cooper, Richard S.; Forrester, Terrence E.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Tropical Metabolism Research Unit
Obesity in peoples of the African diaspora
Chadwick, D; Cardew, Gail
Origins and consequences of obesity
28-30 November 1995.1996
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People of African descent in the Caribbean and the USA originated from the Bight of Benin in West Africa. Although these populations share a common genetic heritage, they now live under different socioeconomic conditions. Assuming genetic similarity, a cross-cultural examination of these peoples in West Africa, the Caribbean and the USA may attenuate the effect of genetic factors and allow the assessment of environmental contributions to a biological outcome. An epidemiological survey was carried out to determine the prevalence of hypertension and the contribution of risk factors to the variation in blood pressure. The height, weight, waist and hip circumferences, and blood pressure of adults in Nigeria, Cameroon, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Barbados and the USA was measured. In urban populations there was a trend towards increasing weight, height, body mass index, and proportions of those overweight and obese going from West Africa to the USA, with the Caribbean being intermediate. The prevalence of hypertension lay on a similar gradient. Given a common genetic susceptibility, urbanization and western acculturation are therefore associated with increasing hypertension and obesity.....