Boston University Study Links Low Level of Education With Obesity Among Black Women

A study led by researchers at the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University finds that lower levels of education are directly linked to higher risk of obesity among African American women.

They study tracked the weight of more than 23,600 African American women from 1995 to 2009. The results showed that women whose parents had not completed high school were more likely to become obese than women who had at least one parent who completed college. But Black women whose parents had not completed high school but who had completed college themselves, were no more likely to be obese than Black women who had a parent who was college educated.

Patricia Coogan, senior epidemiologist and associate professor at the Boston University School of Public Health, stated, “Our results suggest that women who were disadvantaged in childhood, as indicated by low level of parental education, have greater weight gain as adults, but this tendency can be largely overcome if the woman herself has a high level of education.” Dr. Coogan added, “A high level of education may be a marker of more access to healthy food and other factors that influence weight gain.”

The study was published on the website of the journal Ethnicity & Disease.

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