Stress, Race, and Body Weight
Objective: Stress has been identified as a significant factor in health and in racial/ethnic health disparities. A potential mediator in these relationships is body weight.
Design: Cross-sectional and longitudinal relationships between stress, race, and body weight were examined in an ethnically diverse sample of overweight and obese women with Type 2 diabetes (n = 217) enrolled in a behavioral weight loss program.
Main Outcome Measures: Stress (Perceived Stress Scale) was assessed at baseline only and body weight (body mass index) was assessed at baseline and 6 months.
Results: Stress was not related to baseline body weight. With every 1 unit lower scored on the baseline stress measure, women lost 0.10 kg ± .04 more at 6 months (p < .05). When women were divided into tertiles based on baseline stress scores, those in the lowest stress group had significantly greater weight loss (5.2 kg ± 4.9) compared with those in the highest stress group (3.0 kg ± 4.0) (p < .05). There was a trend for African Americans to report higher levels of stress (20.7 ± 8.8) than Whites (18.3 ± 8.3) (p = .08).
Conclusion: The association between higher stress and diminished weight loss has implications for enhancing weight loss programs for women with Type 2 diabetes.
DiLillo, Vicki G.; Kim, Karen Hye-cheon; Bursac, Zoran; White, Della Brown; and West, Delia Smith, "Stress, Race, and Body Weight" (2009). Psychology Faculty Work. 19.
Link Out URL