University Study Finds That Exercise Alone Does Little to Prevent Obesity Among Black Girls

Official U.S. government data finds that 39 percent of adult African American women are obese. But new research finds that exercise alone may not be adequate to reducing rates of obesity among adolescent Black girls.

A study, authored by researchers at the University of Bristol and Cardiff University in the United Kingdom and published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, finds exercise does not provide the same benefits for African American girls in preventing obesity that it does for White girls. Researchers examined the physical activity of more than 1,100, 12-year-old girls, about half of whom were African Americans. The girls wore pedometers and kept detailed accounts of what they ate.

White girls who were in the most active group were 85 percent less likely to become obese over the ensuring two years than White girls in the least active group. But Black girls in the most active group were only 15 percent less likely to become obese in the next two years than Black girls in the least active group. The authors believe that Black women oxidize fat more slowly in response to exercise than White women. And Black women at rest tend to have a lower metabolic rate than White women at rest, making it more difficult for Black women to burn off calories.

The authors write, “Our results suggest that prompting adolescent girls to be active may be important to preventing obesity but that using different approaches (e.g. emphasizing reductions in energy intake) may be necessary to prevent obesity in Black girls.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

HBCUs Receive Major Funding From Blue Meridian Partners

The HBCU Transformation Project is a collaboration between the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), and Partnership for Education Advancement. Forty HBCUs are currently working with the project and additional campuses are expected to join this year. The partnership recently received a $124 million investment from Blue Meridian Partners.

Four African American Scholars Who Are Taking on New Duties

Channon Miller is a new assistant professor at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and Quienton L. Nichols is the new associate dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina. M. D. Lovett has joined Clark Atlanta University as an associate professor of psychology and associate professor Robyn Autry was named director of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

U.S. News and World Report’s Latest Rankings of the Nation’s Top HBCUs

Spelman College in Atlanta was ranked as the best HBCU and Howard University in Washington, D.C., was second. This was the same as a year ago. This was the 17th year in a row that Spelman College has topped the U.S. News rankings for HBCUs.

University of Georgia’s J. Marshall Shepherd Honored by the Environmental Law Institute

Dr. Shepherd is a professor of geography, the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor, and the director of the atmospheric sciences program at the University of Georgia. Before joining the faculty at the University of Georgia, he was a research meteorologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Dr. Shepherd is an expert in the fields of weather, climate, and remote sensing.

Featured Jobs