Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Weight gain worry for stressed black girls: Stress and weight more strongly linked in black girls than white counterparts

Date:
September 19, 2012
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
Could the impact of chronic stress explain why American black girls are more likely to be overweight than white girls? Higher levels of stress over 10 years predict greater increases in body weight over time in both black and white girls. However, the experience of chronic stress appears to have a greater negative effect on black girls' weight.

Could the impact of chronic stress explain why American black girls are more likely to be overweight than white girls? According to Dr. Tomiyama of the University of California, Los Angeles in the U.S., and her colleagues, higher levels of stress over 10 years predict greater increases in body weight over time in both black and white girls. However, the experience of chronic stress appears to have a greater negative effect on black girls' weight, which may explain racial disparities in obesity levels.

The work is published online in Springer's journal, Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

In the United States, the prevalence of obesity in black populations is 50 percent higher than in whites. This difference is apparent even in childhood, and particularly in female adolescents. In addition, ethnic minorities tend to experience greater psychological stress than whites due, in part, to perceived racial discrimination.

Tomiyama and team looked at whether the experience of chronic stress in young girls over a 10-year period might have an effect on Body Mass Index (BMI), a measure of obesity. They were also interested in whether this effect might be different in white and black teenage girls.

Using data from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's (NHLBI) Growth and Health Study, the researchers assessed the prevalence of obesity in 2,379 black and white girls beginning at age 10 and followed up for 10 years. They also looked at their experience of psychological stress over that time.

Over 10 years, more black girls were overweight or obese than white girls, who reported more stress than black girls. In addition, levels of chronic stress predicted greater weight in both groups. Even though black girls reported less stress overall, the effect of chronic stress on weight was stronger for these girls with one unit increase in stress leading to 0.8 BMI unit increase every two years. Comparatively, one unit of stress led to 0.55 BMI unit increase in white girls.

The authors conclude: "Our study documents a relationship between chronic perceived stress and BMI over a decade of growth in black and white girls. However, the relationship between perceived stress and BMI is stronger in black girls. Psychological stress may lead to weight gain through behavioral pathways, such as increased food consumption and sedentary lifestyles, but also directly through prolonged exposure to biological stress mediators such as cortisol."

Given how ubiquitous stress is, these findings raise the flag that stress may be playing a major role in the obesity epidemic as well as contributing to racial disparities.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Janet Tomiyama, Eli Puterman, Elissa S. Epel, David H. Rehkopf, Barbara A. Laraia. Chronic Psychological Stress and Racial Disparities in Body Mass Index Change Between Black and White Girls Aged 10–19. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 2012; DOI: 10.1007/s12160-012-9398-x

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Weight gain worry for stressed black girls: Stress and weight more strongly linked in black girls than white counterparts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120919125734.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2012, September 19). Weight gain worry for stressed black girls: Stress and weight more strongly linked in black girls than white counterparts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120919125734.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Weight gain worry for stressed black girls: Stress and weight more strongly linked in black girls than white counterparts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120919125734.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) In a ruling attorneys for both sides agreed was a first of its kind, a Georgia appeals court said parents can be held liable for what kids put online. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

Buzz60 (Oct. 17, 2014) Feeling down? Reach for the refrigerator, not the medicine cabinet! TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) shares some of the best foods to boost your mood. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

Newsy (Oct. 15, 2014) Researchers claim they’ve diagnosed the first example of the disorder in a 31-year-old U.S. Navy serviceman. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Confirmed Case Of Google Glass Addiction

First Confirmed Case Of Google Glass Addiction

Buzz60 (Oct. 15, 2014) A Google Glass user was treated for Internet Addiction Disorder caused from overuse of the device. Morgan Manousos (@MorganManousos) has the details on how many hours he spent wearing the glasses, and what his symptoms were. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins