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

Tuskegee University Flight School Receives $6.7 Million in Federal Funding

With a $6.7 million investment from the federal government, Tuskegee University will launch a new bachelor's degree in aviation science. The program will teach students about aviation science and technology and provide them with flight school training.

Three African Americans Appointed to University Faculty Positions

The faculty appointments are Dexter Blackman at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Stephanie Henderson at Alcorn State University in Mississippi, and Yolanda Pierce at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

Virginia State University Approved to Launch Master’s Degree in Data Analytics

The master's degree in data analytics will prepare students to use data to make strategic technology and business decisions. The new degree program will be the 14th established master's degree at Virginia State University.

Samuel Frimpong Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Mineral Industry Education

Dr. Frimpong was honored by the Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration with the 2024 Mineral Industry Education Award. He currently serves as a professor of mineral engineering, the Robert H. Quenon Endowed Chair, and vice provost for graduate education at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Featured Jobs