Affordable Health Insurance logo Everything You Need to Know About Affordable Health Insurance and More

  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Monday, June 13, 2016

Despite Exercise, Black Women Still Struggle With Weight Issues -- But Black Men Have This Advantage!

Black couple exercising

Anyone can be obese regardless of race, and we already know that some factors can increase the risks, like eating and exercise habits. Recent research, however, shows that genetics have been found to play an important role in obesity among black men. Some black men have a lower risk for obesity, but why?

A genetic advantage for men

A new study by the University of Arizona showed that black men from West Africa have a lower chance of developing belly fat. Belly fat increases the risk of developing certain diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases. Men who descend from West Africa seem to have some genetic propensity toward less belly fat.

Doesn't really help women

Sadly, this genetic factor does not seem to extend to black women. Black women in the U.S. are 80 percent more likely to be overweight, versus 70 percent among black men, than other races. Even white men in the U.S. have a higher incident rate for belly fat than black men.

The study involved samples from 4,500 black men and women that were collected by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The volunteers were between the ages of 45 and 85 years old. Although it was not yet known what specific gene contributed to the lower risk for belly fat, researchers did conclude that there are genetic factors in black men with a strong West African ancestry that are associated with a lower risk of belly fat.

For more details about the study, visit
DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.