Psychological and Metabolic Correlates of Obesity in African-Americans and Caucasians
Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States
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The purpose of the present study was to identify whether there are unique biological, behavioral, psychological, and environmental factors specific to African-Americans that may promote the development of obesity. Chronic stress levels and the hormonal and metabolic responses of 63 Caucasian and African-American men and women to two metabolically-relevant events a metabolic load standardized meal and a metabolic demand standardized exercise were assessed. The hormonal and metabolic responses included hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis hormones i.e.,adrenocorticotropin hormone and cortisol and insulin responses to a meal. African-Americans reported higher levels of perceived chronic stress, but had lower plasma levels of the stress hormone cortisol than did Caucasians at baseline and throughout both testing sessions.