Being overweight not such a stigma for African American women

December 7, 2011

While all obese women are less satisfied with the weight-related quality of their lives than women of 'normal' weight, black women report a higher quality of life than white women of the same weight. In addition, black women appear to be more concerned about the physical limitations resulting from their obesity, than by the potential psychological consequences of being overweight or obese. These findings by Dr. Tiffany L. Cox, and her team from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute in Fargo, ND, and Obesity and Quality of Life Consulting in Durham, NC, are published online in Springer's journal Applied Research in Quality of Life.

It is well accepted that obesity does not only increase the risk of subsequent disease, disability and , it also impacts the quality of life of . In the United States, approximately 80 percent of black women over the age of 20 are overweight or obese (BMI* equal to or greater than 25).

Cox and colleagues examined the link between BMI and weight-related quality of life in a high-risk sample of (172 black and 171 white) using data collected between 2000 and 2010. An obesity-specific quality of life questionnaire was used to examine five areas: physical function, self-esteem, sexual life, public distress and work.

The researchers found that for all women, as BMI rose, quality of life fell. However, there were notable differences in weight-related quality of life between black and white women. At similar BMIs, black women consistently scored higher on quality of life measures than white women, with self-esteem being particularly higher among black women.

The authors suggest that the relationship between weight and quality of life in black women may be partially explained by body image and . Because black women are typically more accepting of larger body sizes, there may be less reporting of impaired quality of life in this group.

Dr. Cox comments: "The implications of this relationship between weight and quality of life in black women remain unclear. While the highest quality of life is desirable as an indicator of overall well-being, black women's perception of experiencing a high quality of life despite having a high BMI may also dampen motivation for attempting weight loss. Additional research is needed to understand the potentially bidirectional relationship between weight and quality of life in ."

Explore further: Extra weight equals better health-related quality of life for blacks, not so for women

More information: Cox TL et al (2011). Examining the association between body mass index and weight related quality of life in black and white women. Applied Research in Quality of Life. DOI 10.1007/s11482-011-9160-8

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not rated yet Dec 07, 2011
I have noticed that women in powerlifting, or bodybuilding training, very active and positively physically strong and aerobically fit, nearly, ALWAYS have BMI measurements that say they are too fat!!!
Their cholesterol is low, kidney and heart function exceptional and they walk all day in the postal service, school teachers, garbage collectors...but, the BMI says they are pigs!
Look, perhaps some part of the female, African American population has decided that looking like Lady GaGa, a talented and wealthy individual, is NOT a plus for their shapely, hour-glass, voluptuous bodies and does not serve them well in most cases.
Perhaps they have decided that PERFORMANCE, the ability to function well in all ways, IS the true meaning of quality of life: the ability to function MAXIMALLY. I hope the researchers asked them what they the ladies thought and is waiting to release those results very soon...yea, yeah, I'm sure that's it!
word-to-ya-curvy-muthas

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