Statistics show over 60 percent of adult black women are overweight and more than 40% of black women are obese. Obesity is defined as having considerably more body fat than is optimally healthy.
A recent research study shows that black women in the United States, aka African Americans, are more prone to obesity than other races or nationalities.
The study shows that black women carry a genetic mutation that causes them to be more overweight than white women.
The gene mutation explains why black women have difficulty losing weight despite dieting and exercising regularly.
The study found that the mutated gene, known as ankyrin-B, which is in nearly every cell in the human body, leads to calories being stored in tissues in mice, rather than being burned off.
Results reveal mice with the mutated gene grew to be twice the size of normal rodents despite them all eating the same diet and doing the same levels of exercise.
Study author Dr Vann Bennett from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says, "We believe this gene might have helped our ancestors store energy in times of famine."
"In current times, where food is plentiful, ankyrin-B variants could be fueling the obesity epidemic."
Previous research reveals 8.4 percent of African Americans and 1.3 percent of Caucasians carry this mutated gene.
Study author Professor Damaris Lorenzo said: "The abnormal accumulation of fat in these tissues led to inflammation and disruption of response to insulin, a hallmark of type 2 diabetes.
"A similar cascade of events is what often takes place in humans, and that is why obesity can be so detrimental to our health."
Black women are also more prone to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) which leads to insulin resistance causing all cells to be "resistant" to insulin, including fat cells. This leads to weight gain, especially in the abdomen, and difficulty losing weight.
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