Study Finds Racial Differences in Womens’ Ability to Lose Weight

upmcA study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine finds that due to lower metabolic rates, African American women who are overweight and are trying to lose weight must consumer fewer calories or exercise more than White women to lose the same amount weight.

Researchers tracked a group of obese women who were enrolled in a six-month weight-loss program. Detailed records were kept on calorie intake and physical activity. The results found that Black women lost on average seven fewer pounds than White women who maintained identical calorie intake and physical activity regimens.

The fact that on average Black women in the study had a lower metabolic rate meant that they were burning fewer calories than White women while at rest. Dr. James P. Delany, an associate professor of endocrinology and metabolism at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the lead of the study, stated, “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 time span as a Caucasian woman of the same weight.”

The research, “African American Women Exhibit Similar Adherence to Intervention But Lose Less Weight Due to Lower Energy Requirements,” was published on the website of the International Journal of Obesity. It may be accessed here.

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