Is it just me or are African Americans more directly impacted by almost everything at a greater rate than most other cultures? How frustrating.
In a recent study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, research found that black adolescents at the age of 12 are more likely to still become obese by the age of 14 regardless of the amount of physicaly activity they engaged in or their calorie intake as compared to white adolescents of the same age.
According to the LA Times, the study found that it’s an innate metabolic difference,
“The authors, a pair of British researchers using data from a government health study that followed American adolescents for several years, said their findings pointed to a significant metabolic disadvantage for African American girls hoping to maintain a healthy weight. They concluded that ‘obesity-prevention interventions may need to be adapted to account for the finding that black girls are less sensitive to the effects of physical activity’ than their white sisters.”
In an effort to combat the 39.4% obesity rate of African Americans (the highest of any other ethnic group), this study is the first to explore the differences between physical activity and food intake for girls of that age, pulling from a database of 1,148 adolescents.
Over the course of three-day stretches the children wore pedometers to keep track of what they ate. They also documented any physical activity. Each group was divided into two halves, and upper and lower half, based on that activity.
BMI and two other obesity measures were tracked over that time period, finding that the 12-year-old black girls in the upper half of the physical activity were only 15% less likely to be obese by age 14 than ones in the lower half.