A number of economic, cultural, and contextual factors are driving urban America's obesity crisis, which can create chronic health conditions for those least able to manage them. Considering urban obesity through a social justice lens, this book is the first to help social workers and others develop targeted interventions for effective outcomes. The text dissects the problem of urban obesity in populations of color from individual, family, group, community, and policy perspectives. Beginning with a historical survey of urban obesity in communities of color, anti-obesity policies and programs, and the role of social work in addressing this threat, the volume follows with an analysis of the social, ecological, environmental, and spatial aggravators of urban obesity, such as the food industry's advertising strategies, which promote unhealthy choices; the failure of local markets to provide good food options; the lack of safe exercise spaces; and the paucity of heath education. Melvin Delgado reviews recent national obesity statistics; explores the connection between food stamps and obesity; and reveals the financial and social consequences of the epidemic for society as a whole.
He concludes with recommendations for effective health promotion programs, such as youth-focused interventions, community gardens, and community-based food initiatives, and a unique consideration of urban obesity in relation to acts of genocide and national defense.
Melvin Delgado is professor and chair of the macro-practice specialty at the School of Social Work, Boston University. He is the author of twenty books, including Latino Small Businesses and the American Dream: Community Social Work Practice and Economic and Social Development and Social Work Practice with Immigrant and Refugee Youth in the United States.
Acknowledgments Part One. Setting the Context 1. Introduction 2. A Social Justice Paradigm 3. The Extent of the National Obesity Crisis 4. Health 5. Lack of Access to Healthy Foods 6. Limits to Places and Spaces for Physical Exercise 7. Food Industry Practices 8. Challenges in Measuring Overweight and Obesity Part Two. Community-Led Health Promotion Approaches 9. Health Promotion 10. Youth-Focused Interventions 11. Community Garden Interventions 12. Community-Based Food Initiatives 13. Implications for Social Work Practice and Research Epilogue References Index