New computer modeling studies suggest that reducing crime levels in high-risk urban communities can boost exercise levels and significantly cut obesity in African-American women, who have the highest levels of obesity of any racial group in the United States. An estimated 57 percent of African-American women are obese, which is a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other chronic conditions. The study, published in the journal Obesity, suggests that policies to reduce neighborhood crime could have a positive effect on obesity rates, which are at epidemic levels in this country. It was partly funded by NHLBI.
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