In her column at Essence magazine, relationship expert (and contributor to The Root) Demetria L. Lucas chides researchers who were shocked to learn that black women reported a higher quality of life than white women of the same weight. She argues that no woman should buy into the infomercial hype that thinner is better.
A recent study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life found that most obese women are dissatisfied with their quality of life when compared to women of "normal" weight.
Researchers asked about 350 women who technically qualify as "obese" — half of them Black, half of them White — to complete a questionnaire about their quality of life. Subjects were asked to self-report on their satisfaction in areas like sexual pleasure, work life, physical function, and self-esteem.
Researchers seemed shocked to discover Black women reported a higher quality of life than White women of the same weight. Self-esteem also ranked particularly high among Black women.
The study also found that Black women appear to be more concerned about the physical limitations resulting from obesity, than by the potential mental and emotional consequences of being overweight or obese.
"The implications of this relationship between weight and quality of life in Black women remain unclear,” concluded Dr. Tiffany Cox of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who led the study. “Black women's perception of experiencing a high quality of life despite having a high BMI may also dampen motivation for attempting weight loss."
Read Demetria L. Lucas' entire column at Essence magazine.