Black Women Are More Likely To Gain Weight Than White Women After Menopause

Post-menopausal non-Hispanic Black women are more likely to experience weight gain than non-Hispanic white women, researchers at the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging have found in a study published in the March 1 issue of PLOS ONE.
The study included the data of about 70,000 White and Black postmenopausal women, which was obtained from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, a long-term national health study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Body mass index (BMI) at baseline was used to classify women as being a normal weight, overweight, or obese class I, II, or III.
The study found that Black women were more than 50% likely to experience a weight gain of 10% or more than white women. Its findings also suggested that the overall higher risk of weight gain was not due to differences in weight status alone, but rather due to sociocultural factors, in addition to individual biological and socioeconomic differences.
The study further explains that Black women are more likely than white women to experience lower socioeconomic standing. This disparity can lead to a number of environmental factors contributing to weight gain, such as little access to healthy food options, health care, or areas for exercise.
These findings led the authors to conclude that efforts should be made to reduce racial disparities in obesity, which will require a focus on preventing excess weight gain in Black women at earlier life stages, particularly those younger than age 40.