Studies show rise in rate of obesity, diabetes and depression in NYC

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NEW YORK — Obesity, diabetes, depression and other serious health issues are on the rise in NYC, according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Researchers from the NYC Health Department and the NYU school of Medicine published a series of studies Tuesday, regarding the health of New Yorkers. The studies were published in “The Journal of Urban Health,”  which analyzes the health and well-being of people who live in cities.

Researchers gathered valuable information about the physical and mental health of over 1,500 New Yorkers through the NYC Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (HANES).

The following six health problems are most relevant to New Yorkers, according to officials:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Mercury levels among adults
  • Correlation between sleep patterns and sexual orientation
  • Gender and race disparities in cardiovascular risk factors

After collecting the data, researchers found that these six health problems are more frequant in different genders, races, social classes and sexual orientations.

Obesity rates increased from 27.5 percent to 32.4 percent over a ten-year time period, according to studies. This increase was mostly seen among men and the highest obesity rates were found in blacks and latinos. People with less than a college education are also more likely to be obese.

Diabetes rates are rising unevenly across racial and ethnic groups.

More than 8 percent of NYC adults are suffering from depression. These individuals were more likely to be female, Latino or unemployed, according to the NYC Health Department. People were also more likely to be depressed if they have less than a high school education and live in high-poverty neighborhoods.

The study revealed that homosexual and bisexual adults may have more difficulty sleeping than heterosexual adults. According to the data, 69 percent of homosexual adults and 49 percent of bisexual adults have difficulty sleeping compared to 40 percent of heterosexual adults.

This  can be detrimental to the individuals health because poor sleep is associated with unfavorable health outcomes including HIV, drug use, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and cancer, the NYC Health Department said.

Cardiovascular disease was more likely in black woman who were overweight or obese, have hypertension and have diabetes.

Some good news was shown in the studies; adult mercury levels are decreasing because of a lower consumption of fish in New York, officials said.

The Health Departments Center for Health Equity says that they are working towards a fair and healthy New York where all residents have the opportunity to live a healthy life, regardless of their zip code.

Here are some recourses if you’re suffering from these medical conditions: 

The CHE Neighborhood Health Action centers offer coordinated health and social services as well as community programs. They are providing hubs for people to become more involved in efforts to improve health in NYC neighborhoods.

Through the NYC Health Map, residents can find LGBTQ-knowledgeable providers who can offer services in primary care, sexual health care and gender affirming care as well as HIV testing and treatment.

For mental health support, NYC Well offers free confidential information, referrals and crisis counseling at any hour of the day in over 200 languages.


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