Differences in resting metabolic rate between white and African-American young adults

Teresa A. Sharp, Melanie L. Bell, Gary K. Grunwald, Kathryn H. Schmitz, Stephen Sidney, Cora E. Lewis, Kim Tolan, James O. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: A reported lower resting metabolic rate (RMR) in African-American women than in white women could explain the higher prevalence of obesity in the former group. Little information is available on RMR in African-American men. Research Methods and Procedures: We assessed RMR by indirect calorimetry and body composition by DXA in 395 adults ages 28 to 40 years (100 African-American men, 95 white men, 94 African-American women, and 106 white women), recruited from participants in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA), Birmingham, Alabama, and Oakland, California, field centers. Results: Using linear models, fat-free mass, fat mass, visceral fat, and age were significantly related to RMR, but the usual level of physical activity was not. After adjustment for these variables, mean RMR was significantly higher in whites (1665.07 ± 10.78 kcal/d) than in African Americans (1585.05 ± 11.02 kcal/d) by 80 ± 16 kcal/d (p < 0.0001). The ethnic × gender interaction was not significant (p = 0.9512), indicating that the difference in RMR between African-American and white subjects was similar for men and women. Discussion: RMR is ∼5% higher in white than in African-American participants in CARDIA. The difference was the same for men and women and for lean and obese individuals. The prevalence of obesity is not higher in African-American men than in white men. Because of these reasons, we believe that RMR differences are unlikely to be a primary explanation for why African-American women are more prone to obesity than white women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)726-732
Number of pages7
JournalObesity Research
Volume10
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2002
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Body composition
  • Energy expenditure
  • Gender differences
  • Metabolism
  • Racial differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Sharp, T. A., Bell, M. L., Grunwald, G. K., Schmitz, K. H., Sidney, S., Lewis, C. E., Tolan, K., & Hill, J. O. (2002). Differences in resting metabolic rate between white and African-American young adults. Obesity Research, 10(8), 726-732. https://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2002.99