Study Finds Black Women Must Work Harder to Lose Weight

Black women also have a lower metabolic resting rate compared to white women.

Posted: 12/30/2013 01:08 PM EST
Black woman working out

It's already hard for some to shed those extra pounds due to time and motivation, but did you know that race could also be an obstacle in losing weight? In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that Black women had to work harder than white women to lose weight.

Even when diet and exercise were equal in the two groups, which consisted of 39 African-American women and 66 white women, Black women lost seven pounds less than white women over the six-month weight loss program and had a lower metabolic resting rate.

"We prescribe how many calories are allowed and how much activity is needed during weight loss interventions based on the premise that people of the same weight have similar metabolic rates," James P. DeLany, Ph.D., said. "But to account for their lower metabolic rate, African-American women must further reduce the number of calories they eat or use up more of them with exercise in order to lose the same number of pounds in the same timespan as a Caucasian woman of the same weight."

While having extra curves is more accepted in the Black community, it's also important to know that being overweight can lead to diseases that are so prevalent in the African-American community: diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease. Hopefully with these results we can admit that it's not always a woman's fault that she has trouble losing weight, cut the criticisms and find ways to motivate her instead.


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(Photo: Wendy Hope/Getty Images)

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