A study on obesity in adolescents found that Black girls’ physical activity declines at twice the rate of white girls as they reach adulthood.
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The New England Journal of Medicine found that overall, Black and white girls reported a decline in activity as they grew older, but Black girls fared worse in comparison, researchers write. By the age of 16 or 17, 56 percent of the Black girls and 31 percent of the white girls reported no regular activity.
Researchers linked inactivity to higher rates of pregnancy in Black girls aged 14 years and older, while cigarette smoking was more prevalent in whites. For both Black and white girls in the study, less exercise meant a higher body-mass index—the measure of body fat based on height and weight—though Black girls reported higher BMI than whites.