obese blackwoman*(Via Health Day News) – The link between chronic stress and weight gain is much stronger in black girls than white girls, and may help explain why black girls are more likely to be overweight than white girls, according to a new study.

In the United States, the obesity rate in blacks is 50 percent higher than in whites, the researchers noted. This difference is apparent even in childhood, particularly among female teens.

Researchers looked at obesity rates among nearly 2,400 black and white girls, who were followed for up to 10 years beginning at age 10 as part of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Growth and Health Study. The researchers also looked at the girls’ stress levels over that time.

The study was published online in the journal Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

Over the study period, more black girls were overweight or obese than white girls. Even though black girls reported less stress than white girls, the effect of chronic stress on body-mass index was stronger among black girls, said A. Janet Tomiyama, of the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues. Body-mass index, or BMI, is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight.

Read/learn more at US News.