One-third of Americans are obese, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and researchers at Boston University (BU) are working to understand why and what can be done. BU has published a four-part series that discusses a special project out of Boston University’s School of Public Health called the Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS).

Why is there a special project dedicated to Black Women? Well, because African-American women in the U.S. have the highest rate of obesity in the nation. Since 1995 BWHS has studied the lives and habits of 59,000 Black women in hopes of understanding the disparity and the tools to help Black women as a whole live healthier lives.

“Our study is really trying to make a difference,” says Julie Palmer, who is the senior epidemiologist at Boston University’s Slone Epidemiology Center and coordinator of BWHS. “It is pure research, but it is research with a heart. We want it to lead to changes in individual behaviors, changes in medical practitioners’ recommendations, and changes at the highest policy levels that will help all of us have better health.”

One of the things the study pays attention is what actions towards better health are actually possible for women. Noting that everyone may not have access to gyms, they’ve looked at the impact of walking briskly and how that can be factored into everyday live.

The studying has also looked at how factors such as food, breastfeeding and education level play into obesity among Black Women.

For more information on the Black Women’s Health Study, click here.

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