Black Women Lose Less Weight Than White Women on Same Diet

Do Black women have lower metabolism than whites?

Posted: 12/23/2013 02:32 PM EST

With so much talk around how hair deters Black women from working out and how we love being thick as a means to explain why Black women weigh more, a new study finds that even when we do the “right” thing, we still can come out short.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh put 64 obese white women and 69 obese Black women on the same diet of 1,800 calories a day and same workout plan. Six months later when they did a final weigh-in, they found that the African-American female participants lost on average of eight pounds less than their white counterparts.

What’s up with that?

For starters, this difference is not about Black women not working as hard as the white women in the study or not adhering to the diet, researchers tell HealthDay.Com. They were clear: They paid close attention to make sure that all of the women’s efforts mirrored each other. Researchers also state that this difference cannot be explained by other factors such as socioeconomic status and access to healthy foods that we know serve as barriers for racial weight disparities.

The culprit could be basic genetics.

The study’s researchers believe that Black women in the study have lower metabolism than white women. Metabolism refers to the hormones and enzymes in our body that help convert and break food down into energy. The higher your metabolism, the faster the calories you eat are burned. The more calories that are burned, the more weight you lose.

These findings are not new. Past data has found that when it comes to weight loss, race and genetics are real obstacles that doctors just cannot ignore. The study’s authors hope that more docs will keep this in mind when prescribing diet and weight-loss programs for obese and overweight Black women.

No, this study isn’t the most promising news for us, but don't let this stop you from getting your exercise on. There are plenty of little things that you can do to rev up your metabolism, which include drinking a cup of green tea every day, lifting weights and eating three meals a day. Most important: Exercising regularly, especially incorporating interval training.

Now, get to sweatin’ and eating healthier!

Follow Kellee Terrell on Twitter @kelleent

BET Health News - We go beyond the music and entertainment world to bring you important medical information and health-related tips of special relevance to Blacks in the U.S. and around the world. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter. 

(Photo: St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT /Landov)

Videos You May Like

From Our Partners