There are many reasons why an increasing number of people are classified as obese – and now racism could be one of them.
Frequent experiences of racism are associated with a higher risk of obesity among African American women, a new study claims.
Scientists found that women who were more frequently victimised for their race, were more likely to be obese.
The study, by Slone Epidemiology Centre at Boston University, found the relationship between racism and obesity was strongest among women who reported consistently high experience of racism over a 12 year period.
The research was based on the Black Women’s Health Study, which enrolled 59,000 African-American women in 1995 and has followed them since.
The Black Women’s Health Study collected information on experiences of racism, height and weight and other lifestyle factors via biennial questionnaires.
The participants were asked in 1997 and in 2009 to rate the frequency of ‘everyday’ experiences of racism, such as receiving poorer service in restaurants and if they had been treated unfairly because of their race in their job, in housing or by the police.
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