Black women may be more prone to obesity than white women because they are naturally hungrier, a new study shows.
Researchers found black women had significantly higher levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin after eating than white women -- regardless of their weight, calorie intake, or age.
Ghrelin is a hormone released primarily in the stomach, which is thought to trigger hunger. Ghrelin levels increase dramatically before a meal and then are suppressed for about three hours after eating a meal.
Obesity is a growing epidemic in the U.S., but researchers say African Americans are 1.6 times more likely to be obese than whites. Statistics show that 31% of African Americans are obese compared with 20% of whites.
As a result, researchers say black women suffer from higher rates of obesity-related illnesses, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, than white women.