Although both Caucasian and African American stressed females tend to gain weight, the stress appears to have a greater effect in the weight of African American girls. However, the African American girls reported less stress overall than Caucasian girls.
In the article, researcher Dawn Turner Trice addresses the epidemic of obesity-related chronic diseases in the United States. She also mentions the level of stress that teens face.
A professor at UCLA said, "the biggest gap in health disparities in this country is in the obesity rates between black and white teen girls." This study was published by Annals of Behavioral Medicine and was conducted from a long-term study by the Nation Heart, Lung and Blood Institute that began in the 1980s. The study analyzed 2,379 girls, half were African American and the other half was Caucasian. The girls came from different regions of the country and various income levels. The researchers have been studying the girls beginning at age 10 until age 19. The research team of psychologists is also studying the emotions that affect health.
Researchers are still looking for ways to explain the results of this phenomenon. The results show that African American girls increase in one unit of stress led to a .8 increase in BMI every two years while one unit of stress led to a .55 BMI unit increase for Caucasian girls.
This study is relevant to our class material because it encompasses numerous variables and units of measurement. The researchers used a long-term structure, measuring the same population at various ages. I find it interesting that the researchers analyzed the emotional factors that influence stress level, although I would have liked to have an explanation of how the emotions affect daily health. I think this a very thorough study, the only concern I have is how the researchers assigned a value "one unit" to stress, and this value was not thoroughly explained.