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Active Living Research in Diverse and Disadvantaged Communities

Stimulating Dialogue and Policy Solutions
      Eliminating disparities in physical activity and related health outcomes is a formidable public health challenge. While the prevalence of obesity and overweight has increased significantly and inactivity remains high in the general population, emerging evidence paints a disturbing picture for members of low-income and racial/ethnic minority populations and other vulnerable populations. It is widely known that moderate and vigorous physical activity is a protective factor against a variety of chronic diseases. Yet, 2005 prevalence data show that 56% of Hispanic and 54% of African-American adults reported accumulating no leisure-time physical activity, while 35% percent of non-Hispanic whites reported no leisure-time physical activity.
      • Barnes P.
      Physical activity among adults: United States, 2000–2005.
      Moreover, national data show that prevalence of no leisure-time physical activity has remained the same for white non-Hispanic individuals but disparities with non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics have increased. Other trend data further support that little progress has been made to eliminate disparities in physical activity participation in communities of color.
      • Haskell W.L.
      • Lee I.
      • Pate R.R.
      • et al.
      Physical activity and public health: Updated recommendation for adults from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association.
      Prevalence of overweight and obesity is also greater in low-income and minority communities.
      • Ogden C.L.
      • Carroll M.D.
      • Curtin L.R.
      • MacDowell M.A.
      • Tabak C.J.
      • Flegal K.M.
      Prevalence of overweight and obesity in the United States, 1999-2004.
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