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According to new research, Paula Deen’s famous Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding might be laced with a secret ingredient, which might be also helping you to pack on the pounds: racism.

The research, which was conducted by investigators from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University, has found that black women, who frequently experienced racism also had a higher risk of obesity than their less disenfranchised and oppressed counterparts.The findings, which currently appear online in the American Journal of Epidemiology, are based on data from a previous study, which survey 59,000 African-American women under the age of 40, over a course of 12-years about various lifestyle factors including height, weight and experiences of racism.

According to MedicalXpress, participants were asked in 1997 and again in 2009 to rate the frequency of “everyday”racism, including experiences like receiving poorer service in restaurants and stores, and if they had been treated unfairly because of their race on the job, in housing or by the police. Researchers found that women, who rated high frequencies of everyday racism in both 1997 and 2009 were 69 percent more likely to become obese compared to those black women, who rated low levels of racism.

According to statistics from the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health, black women on average have the highest rates of being overweight or obese compared to any other groups in the U.S. About four out of five African American women, or about 80 percent, are overweight or obese. Another recent study suggests one of the reasons behind the obesity disparities in black women is that, on average, must work harder to lose the same amount of weight than their white counterparts (seven pounds to one to be exact).

However this is the first time a study has tied racism to weight. According to research, racism does offer other health disadvantages including stress, depression, high blood pressure, cancer and even the common cold. According to this article in The Root, two recent Emory University studies show a connection between the stress from experiencing racism and high child mortality rates as well as learning disabilities among African-American children born prematurely. And according to this 2009 article in USA Today, the findings for one study, which first appeared in the American Journal of Public Health, shows that fifth-graders, who feel they’ve been mistreated because of their skin color are much more likely to have symptoms of mental disorders, especially depression.

Granted, the white man didn’t tell you to eat the whole dish of that Krispy Kreme bread pudding. However Paula Deen did invent it so…IN all seriousness, it is not unlikely to assume that racism can play a role in your weight. Stress eating is real. And so are food deserts and racial disparities in diagnosis, treatment and follow up of patients. Plus racism effects other aspects of your life including economically and socially, so why not your heath, in particular your weight?


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