Black Women May Avoid Health Risks by Maintaining Weight

A new study indicates that when it comes to avoiding obesity-related health problems, not gaining weight may be more important for black women than shedding pounds.

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Obesity affects black women more than most other groups. But the Huffington Post reports that a new Duke University study found that just by focusing on maintaining their weight, rather than losing pounds, black women can reduce their chances of suffering from the health risks of obesity. The important thing is not to gain weight every year. They call the approach "maintain, don't gain."

The study looked at 194 black women aged 24-44, and placed them into two different groups. Half of the participants were placed in a “primary care-based intervention program” called "Shape" while the other half simply got the typical care from their doctors and weight-loss counseling. After a year, the “Shape” group stabilized their weight. However, the women from the other group receiving simply normal care from their doctors and weight loss counseling, gained weight.

"It's true that there are some health risks for these overweight and slightly obese women," Bennett said. "However, these health risks increase dramatically as women continue to gain weight, usually 2 to 4 pounds, year after year."

The study cites further research that claims premenopausal black women are at a lower risk for chronic diseases than whites or other racial groups, but after age 40, the risks increase. The authors use this research to say that preventing weight gain could "reduce the odds of developing health problems, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol diabetes, cardio vascular disease, stroke and some cancers."

Read more at the Huffington Post.

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