RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Nearly two-thirds of North Carolina women are overweight or obese, a report finds.
The North Carolina Women’s Report Card, released this week by the UNC-Chapel Hill Center for Women’s Health Research, also found Black women were significantly more likely than white women to be obese.
It says 34 percent of all women in the state are obese with another 31 percent overweight — for a total of 65 percent.
The report finds 61 percent of white women fall into one of those two categories, compared to 81 percent of Black women.
More than half of Black women are obese, and they are 70 percent more likely than white women to be obese, the study finds, calling it “undoubtedly a major contributor” to the finding that 45 percent of Black women in the state have high blood pressure.
The report card is released every two years and is based on data from state health behavior surveys, vital statistics, and disease reporting systems from Carolina Demography, a division of the Carolina Population Center.
The report did find some positives, especially in the areas of preventative care and preterm birth.
North Carolina women exceed Healthy People 2030 targets in both colorectal cancer screenings and mammograms while ranking No. 11 nationally in wellness visits and No. 12 in cervical cancer screenings. And fewer babies in the state are born preterm — at fewer than 37 weeks — than the Healthy People 2030 target of 9.4 percent.
There are about 5.3 million women in North Carolina and they outnumber men by about 300,000. The average life expectancy is nearly 81 years and it ranges from 84.3 years in Orange and Transylvania counties to 74.1 years in Swain County.
“There are numerous conditions and diseases that affect women differently from men,” said Dr. Wendy Brewster, the center’s director. “It is important that we target our resources wisely in these gap areas to preserve the health of our entire community.”