Black Girls Remain Less Likely Than Whites To Develop Eating, Weight Disorders; Weight Concerns Rising Among Black, Hispanic Boys, Study Finds
Black teenage girls are less likely than their white counterparts to diet, take diet pills, purge or exercise excessively to lose weight, but black and Hispanic boys are more likely than white boys to use extreme weight-loss measures, according to a study published in the March issue of International Journal of Eating Disorders, Reuters Health reports.
For the study, lead researcher Y. May Chao of Wesleyan University and colleagues analyzed national data collected from 1995 to 2005 and found that when compared to whites, black girls are more resistant to eating disorders and satisfied with their weight and body image. The findings are consistent with previous research. Researchers noted that the lack of concern over weight control could contribute to health risks for black girls.
The study also found that boys of all races are becoming more concerned about weight over time, with black and Hispanic boys more likely than white boys to use weight-control measures. Little research is available on weight issues and teenage boys, but the study authors suggested that minority boys might be concerned about weight because they are more likely to be obese and feel more pressure to be fit for sports. Researchers also said that it is unclear why there is a racial difference in weight issues among teenagers. The findings suggest that more research should be targeted toward boys' growing risk of developing eating disorders, researchers said (Reuters Health, 3/10).
An abstract of the study is available online.