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A stethoscope on top of a scaleThe issue of blacks and weight management continues to be a problematic topic. Studies say that four out of five black women are overweight or obese, and that blacks in general are about 1.5 times more likely to be obese than whites.

Now, you already know the weight gain/weight loss basics: eat right and exercise.

But, as if these two things aren’t already challenging enough, there may be more to it than that. According to the NIH, certain health problems can help add inches to your waist as well.

Here are some of the top medical conditions that may help influence the numbers on your scale:


What’s so bad about not getting enough sleep? Aside from the fact that the human body needs sleep in order to restore and heal organs and tissues, not sleeping enough can lead to eating not-so-healthy food late at night. Also, sleep-deprivation can lead to changes in hormone levels, which can, in turn, increase hunger and appetite.


Cortisol, the “stress hormone,” is secreted into the body when you feel stressed. This causes an increase in appetite. And unfortunately, very few people who are stressed tend to reach for kale and glasses of water.

Cushing’s Syndrome

Weight gain is a common symptom of Cushing’s syndrome, a condition in which you are exposed to too much of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn causes weight gain and other abnormalities. You can get Cushing’s syndrome if you take steroids for asthma, arthritis, or lupus. It can also happen when your adrenal glands make too much cortisol, or it could be related to a tumor. The weight gain may be most prominent around the face, neck, upper back, or waist.


7 Things Making You Fat (That Have Nothing To Do With Your Plate)  was originally published on

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