Perceptions and beliefs about body size, weight, and weight loss among obese African American women: A qualitative inquiry

Christie A. Befort, Janet L. Thomas, Christine M. Daley, Paula C. Rhode, Jasjit S. Ahluwalia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore perceptions and beliefs about body size, weight, and weight loss among obese African American women in order to form a design of weight loss intervention with this target population. Six focus groups were conducted at a community health clinic. Participants were predominantly middle-aged with a mean Body Mass Index of 40.3 ± 9.2 kg/m2. Findings suggest that participants (a) believe that people can be attractive and healthy at larger sizes; (b) still feel dissatisfied with their weight and self-conscious about their bodies; (c) emphasize eating behavior as the primary cause for weight gain; (d) view pregnancy, motherhood, and caregiving as major precursors to weight gain; (e) view health as the most important reason to lose weight; (f) have mixed experiences and expectations for social support for weight loss; and (g) prefer treatments that incorporate long-term lifestyle modification rather than fad diets or medication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSocial Science Research
Subtitle of host publicationA Cross Section of Journal Articles for Discussion and Evaluation
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Pages153-163
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781351968393
ISBN (Print)9781936523016
StatePublished - Sep 13 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 1994 by Taylor and Francis.

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