The National Institutes of Health (NIH) spent nearly $500,000 to study how getting mothers to dance with their daughters can fight obesity.
The three-year study is focusing on African-American girls, who the authors say “suffer disproportionately from obesity.” The aim of the research is to see whether “Afro-centric” dance can get girls to exercise.
The government has spent $11 million researching how dance can curb obesity rates, though the studies have yielded less than promising results.
“Reductions in physical activity are more prevalent in African-American girls and women; therefore effective physical activity interventions are needed,” the grant for the most recent project said. “For a physical activity intervention to be effective among African-American girls the program must resonate with them and they must enjoy participating in it. One possible example of an enjoyable, culturally-appropriate intervention is Afro-centric dance.”
The study hypothesizes that teenaged girls would be more likely to dance if their mothers are dancing with them.