Asian Americans have the lowest obesity rate (39%) across racial/ethnic groups. A hefty 63% of the total US population is obese or overweight.  Still, additional statistics among specific Asian Americans do not auger well for me. Filipino Americans are 70% more likely to be obese than the overall Asian American population. 
***I recall how my mother’s face flushed with disappointment the day I began refusing extra helpings from her dinner table. I imagine that putting together a meal worthy of praise and appreciation had become the culmination of each day. It is lonely enough for anyone separated from one’s extended family and circle of friends. It must have been tougher for my mom who had immigrated to this country in her senior years. But, coming home from work that fateful evening, I held my ground; I refused a second helping.
I repeated this pattern of rejection in the days to come. It wasn’t that I disliked the dishes that she put together. In fact, five years after my mom passed away, I still very much miss her cooking. I know everyone would say the same of his or her mother’s cooking—that it’s the best in the world—and really mean it. But, I miss my mom and her daily expressions of love, including her devotion in preparing a sumptuous meal for us each night.It was particularly difficult for me that first night because my favorite dish was on her menu. The scent of pork adobo greeted me from the very doorstep. Adobo? Chunks of pork are browned in oil and garlic, then braised patiently in coconut vinegar, soy sauce, crushed pepper, and bay leaves until tender. Sometimes, it is finished off in thickened with coconut milk and/or shrimp fry. Fragrant jasmine rice is served directly from the steamer. As a side dish, munggo beans are boiled ‘til soft then sautéed with shrimp, garlic, onion, tomatoes and fish sauce. Mmm!
But sorry, mom, no second serving for me! My work-stressed, travel-weary and over-compensating poundage needed a makeover. I have to lose weight, the doctor said, to control my high-blood pressure like you and dad, like brother and sis, already suffer with. That doesn’t mean that I can’t get enough of your gracious servings of love, just not at the dinner table. Looking back, I really wish I could have said it better.
But, mothers know everything anyway, don’t they? statehealthfacts.org
 U.S. Department of Health & Human Services