Study: Weight Loss Is Harder for Black Women Than White Women

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 12/27/2013 | 01:30 PM EST

Women of color have to work harder and eat less to lose as much weight as white women

A new study suggests that there may be consequences for Black women having a more curvy frame than their White counterparts.

Scientists from the University of Pittsburgh found that African-American women have to eat less or exercise more in order to lose as much weight as White women. This finding is attributed mainly to Black women’s lower resting metabolic rates and lower calorie expenditure, despite being put on the same exercise regimen as Caucasian women.

To conduct the study, a group of 39 severely obese African-American and 66 White women were examined as they underwent a six-month weight loss program that consisted of calorie restriction and increased physical activity. The group of Black women lost about eight pounds less than their Caucasian counterparts.

"We prescribe how many calories are allowed and how much activity is needed during weight loss interventions based on the premise that people of the same weight have similar metabolic rates," said the study’s lead author James DeLany.

"But 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."

Additionally, another study last year found that the number one reason women of color avoid exercising is because of their hair. Forty percent of respondents said they did not want to ruin their ‘do.

(Photo: Getty Images/Image Source)

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