Study Links Obesity In African-American Women To Childhood AbuseS

A study out of Boston University printedin the August issue of Pediatrics, the first to look at a significant test group of obese adult African-American women for causation, has linked severe physical or sexual child abuse to an increased risk of obesity—a connection that had been found among women in previous studies, but not black women specifically.

The link was determined to be "modest" but "statistically significant" for women who experienced severe early-childhood abuse, drawn from data from the Black Women's Health Study. Beginning in 1985, women across the country from age 21 to 69 were asked about their status every two years—as of 2005, 58% of the 33,298 women who took part in the study reported at least one instance of abuse as a child or teen, with 11% reporting severe physical or sexual abuse. Unsurprisingly, childhood abuse was also found to be the cause of depression, smoking, and "inversely associated with being married and household income."

'Childhood abuse linked to adult obesity in black women, study says' [LA Times]