Young women consistently exercise less than young men

Despite mounting public health concerns about obesity and persistent social pressures dictating that slim is beautiful, young women in their 20s consistently exercise less than young men. And young black women showed significant declines in exercise between 1984 and 2006, according to a University of Michigan study to be published in the October issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

The study is one of the first to analyze long-term patterns in weight-related activities, and to assess how these patterns vary by gender, race and ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. The disparities in health behaviors the study reveals are consistent with disparities in the prevalence of obesity, particularly among women, according to Philippa Clarke, lead author of the study and a researcher at the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR).

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