While this might seem like a script off the award-winning film 'Precious', science has actually confirmed the link between childhood abuse and obesity among African Americans.
For the study, researchers at Boston University compiled 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. The findings, printed in the August issue of Pediatrics, showed that the link was determined to be "modest" but "statistically significant"
for women who experienced severe early-childhood abuse.
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." The study was also the first to focus solely on obese adult African-American women. Previous studies had linked severe physical or sexual child abuse to an increased risk of obesity among women, but not black women specifically.
So what can the rest of us learn from these findings. Regardless of your race, there are plenty of factors that go into obesity other than just food and exercise. Perhaps we all need to stop with all the fat-shaming, and instead help these folks resolve the deeper issues that they're holding inside.