A study by University of Iowa researchers says black women’s magazines give crappier advice about weight loss than ‘mainstream’ magazines. The study says that black women’s publications are more likely to suggest fad diets and ‘faith’. Great, considering that at least 70% of black women in the U.S. are overweight or obese.
The magazines suggested many of the same weight-loss strategies, but mainstream magazines were twice as likely to suggest eating more whole grains and protein, smaller portions, and low-fat foods. Relying on God or faith was suggested by 1 in 10 weight-loss stories in the African-American magazines, but in almost no weight-loss stories in the mainstream magazines.
Fad diets were promoted as legitimate strategies in 15 percent of weight-loss stories in the African-American magazines, compared to only 5 percent in the mainstream magazines. Fad diets, defined as diets that may work in the short term but often do not result in sustained changes, included the Dick Gregory Bahamian Diet, the South Beach Diet, the Hilton Head Diet, and the Atkins Diet.
Mainstream magazines offered more strategies per article than African-American magazines. And, while mainstream magazines increased fitness and nutrition coverage during the second decade as the severity of the obesity epidemic unfolded, African-American magazines did not.
It should be noted that there’s a correlation between lack of wealth and religious belief, a correlation between poverty and obesity, and black women are twice as likely to be poor than white women. Just throwing that all out there.
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