Millennials in U.S. Facing Increased Health Concerns Due to Structural Racism

Millennials in the U.S. are facing increasing health concerns, according to a new study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. The study found that rates of diabetes and obesity are on the rise, particularly in people ages 20 to 44.[0] Furthermore, non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic Americans were more likely to experience high rates of diabetes and hypertension.

The study, which was conducted by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and included data from 12,924 participants, revealed that between 2009 and 2018, obesity significantly increased across all racial and ethnic groups except Black adults, while the prevalence of hypertension increased among Mexican Americans and other Hispanic adults, with Black adults experiencing the highest rates of hypertension.[1]

The authors attributed the rise in health issues to structural racism, noting that Mexican American adults faced a significant rise in diabetes and hypertension, and that other Hispanic adults experienced a significant rise in hypertension. The authors suggested that the increase in consumption of high-sodium and highly processed foods, as well as the socioeconomic obstacles that make it more difficult to acquire healthy foods, could be responsible.[2]

They recommended a number of solutions to address the health gaps, including pharmacist-led interventions in Black barbershops, large-scale health system initiatives that screen for and treat uncontrolled blood pressure for young Black adults, greater access to primary care, and more green space for regular exercise.[2]

The findings from this study have major implications for public health over the long term, as the U.S. population ages.[3] It is essential that public health and clinical interventions are intensified to prevent and treat cardiovascular risk factors in young adults.[1]

0. “Family physician calls rise in diabetes, obesity in young adults concerning after new study released” WJXT News4JAX , 6 Mar. 2023,

1. “Heart disease risk factors rise in young adults” Harvard Medical School, 7 Mar. 2023,

2. “Diabetes and obesity are on the rise in young adults, a study says” Northern California Public Media, 6 Mar. 2023,

3. “Feeling invincible, lacking healthcare, young adults' heart health at risk” UPI News, 6 Mar. 2023,

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