African-American Women Lose Less Weight in Trials

Most promising results offered by well-designed, intensive trials with medically at-risk population

MONDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- African-American women lose less weight than other subgroups through behavioral weight loss interventions, according to a review published online Nov. 10 in Obesity Reviews.

Marian L. Fitzgibbon, from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and colleagues systematically reviewed behavioral weight loss intervention literature published between 1990 and 2010 to provide an overview of the effectiveness of these interventions for African-American women. A total of 25 trials met the inclusion criteria of participants aged 18 years or older, a behavioral weight loss intervention, weight as an outcome variable, African-American women as study sample, and weight loss results reported by ethnicity and gender.

The investigators found that randomized behavioral weight loss trials that were more intensive, and recruited medically at-risk populations, gave better results. The most promising results for African-American women could be obtained from well-designed and more intensive multi-site trials that include medically at-risk populations. However, compared to other subgroups in behavioral weight loss interventions, African-American women had lower weight loss.

"Behavior is not only affected by individual-level factors, but also by biological, social, cultural, and environmental underpinnings that must be addressed in order to more readily enable the adoption of healthy behaviors to reduce obesity prevalence among African-American women," the authors write.

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