Perceptions of obesity: Black and White differences

Andria M Thomas, Ginger Moseley, Rayvelle Stallings, Gloria Nichols-English, Peggy J Wagner
Journal of Cultural Diversity 2008, 15 (4): 174-80
To better understand similarities and differences in Black and White women's perceptions about obesity, we conducted race-matched focus groups with thirty physician-referred, obese women. Participants completed demographic questionnaires and body image assessments. Analysis yielded some common themes. Unique themes for Black women included disagreement with the thin ideal and their own and family members' satisfaction with their weight; dislike of physical activity because of perspiration and appearance; program access barriers; and difficulties with clothing. White women desired support during weight loss from other obese individuals. Results support education and intervention programs that respond to specific needs of each group.

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