Researchers with the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine claim African-American girls are less responsive to the benefits of physical activity than white girls.
The study analyzed more than 1,148 girls, 538 of them were black and 610 were white. The black girls in the group who exercised the most were only 15 percent less likely to be obese by the age of 14 than the group with the lowest levels of exercise.
But for the white girls in the study, the active group was 85 percent less likely to have weight problems.
WTOC spoke to a fitness expert who believes exercise is only half the battle in fighting childhood obesity.
"Getting active and getting the diet are both in the combination because calories in have to equal calories out so just to look at diet isn't going to solve the problem, and just to look at exercise isn't going to solve the problem," Michelle Lafleur says.
Ashley Hicks, co-founder of Black Girls Run, says the study is upsetting. Her organization works to encourage physical activity, and fight the obesity epidemic in the African-American community.
"It was just really discouraging but I think but from there the message we need to drive home is, exercise really is just a small part of getting in shape.
"I think people have to take this with a grain of salt people need to realize if you do the right thing, work out, eat healthy you will lose weight and be healthy."