The latest data shows that while 49 percent of white women are classified as overweight or obese, 66 percent of black women are classified such, and 66 percent of Hispanic women are overweight or obese. As for Asians, the overweight rate is about 22 percent. How is this possible? No one can say conclusively for sure why there are such big differences between the various ethnic groups.
Some of the reason could be eating habits, exercise habits etc. Some research even suggests that the metabolism rates for the various races differ by a large margin. For example, some studies have shown that the resting metabolism rate is lower among obese black women versus obese white women. When these women went through a six month weight loss program, both groups lost weight, however the metabolic rate of the African American women dropped even further, making it much harder for them to lose more weight.
This will probably explain why black women find it really hard to lose weight, especially compared to white women, even when they enroll in a weight loss program. This could also explain why African American women gain weight at a greater rate during pregnancy and have trouble losing much of that extra weight after their child is born.
If you are a man, the links between race, ethnicity and weight is still there, although it is not so pronounced. For example, there is only a difference of about 6 percent in the overweight and obesity rates between black men and white men.
Another factor that throws a spanner into the works is your family history. If both your parents are overweight, then there is a high chance that you will also be overweight. Not just the genes are responsible for this though, you dietary and eating habits are also to blame. When children grow up in such an environment where the eating habits are not controlled and are lax, then they also learn that behavior, munching on snacks and perpetually eating.
However, the link between diseases and being overweight isn't uniform across the various races. A study done on the association between body mass index (BMI) and the mortality rates from heart diseases showed quite different results between the white and black population. While an increase in BMI correlated positively to an increase in heart disease mortality, the absolute numbers for BMI were not uniform. For example, for the same mortality risk, the BMI that caused that risk was much higher for black women as compared to white women. So BMI may not be such a good indicator of health related diseases, especially for a black women, than it is for a white woman.
Although it may be more difficult to lose weight with all these factors seemingly against you, it is still possible, with a sensible diet program coupled with an exercise regime. So don't let that stop you from making the effort and sticking with the program forever.
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