Objective To investigate Blacks’views regarding the connections among overweight, exercise, and health.
Methods A national randomized telephone survey of 986 US Blacks, conducted between 6 July 2004 and 15 July 2004.
Results The majority (65%) of respondents reported their weight as average or underweight. Most participants also reported being regularly physically active in the last month (84.5%). The majority of participants reported believing that it is possible to be overweight and healthy. Most acknowledged the connection between exercise and health, and just over half of respondents identified the association between overweight and cancer risk. There was little sociodemographic variation in responses, although findings differed by self-reported overweight and physical activity.
Conclusions Some Blacks may underestimate the extent of their overweight, perhaps resulting from the high prevalence of the condition in the population. Gaps exist in Blacks’ recognition of the connection between weight and health, although the importance of exercise for health promotion was widely acknowledged. These data may highlight an important target for intervention attention.
Blacks/African Americans Body weight Physical activity Risk reduction behavior
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
We gratefully acknowledge the efforts of Sandy Askew and Jodi Anna Saia-Witte for their assistance with the preparation of this manuscript. This research was supported by Grant #5 P01 CA75308 from the National Institutes of Health and support to
the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute by Liberty Mutual, National Grid, and the Patterson Fellowship Fund. G.G. Bennett is also supported by an award from the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. K.Y. Wolin was supported, in part, by a National Cancer Institute training grant (5 T32 CA09001-28).
Vainio, HBF 2002IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention. Weight Control and Physical ActivityIARC PressLyon, FranceGoogle Scholar
Hedley, AA, Ogden, CL, Johnson, CL, et al. 2004Prevalence of overweight and obesity among US children, adolescents, and adults, 1999–2002JAMA29128472850PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Flegal, KM, Carroll, MD, Ogden, CL, et al. 2002Prevalence and trends in obesity among US adults, 1999–2000JAMA28817231727PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shankar, S, Nanda, JP, Bonney, G, Kofie, V 2000Obesity differences between African-American men and womenJ Natl Med Assoc922228PubMedGoogle Scholar
Clark, JM, Bone, LR, Stallings, R, et al. 2001Obesity and approaches to weight in an urban African-American communityEthn Dis11676686PubMedGoogle Scholar
Basiotis, PP, Carlson, A, Gerrior, SA, et al. 2004The Healthy Eating Index, 1999–2000: charting dietary patterns of AmericansFamily Econom Nutrit Rev163948Google Scholar
Variyam JN, Blaylock J, Smallwood D, et al. (1998) USDA’s Healthy Eating Index and Nutrition Information. U.S. Department of Agriculture.Google Scholar
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services1996Physical activity and health: a report of the Surgeon GeneralCenters for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health PromotionAtlanta, GAGoogle Scholar
Washburn, RA, Kline, G, Lackland, DT, Wheeler, FC 1992Leisure time physical activity: are there black/white differences?Prev Med21127135PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2003) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Google Scholar
Kumanyika, S, Wilson, JF, Guilford-Davenport, M 1993Weight-related attitudes and behaviors of black womenJ Am Diet Assoc93416422PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Striegel-Moore, RH, Wilfley, DE, Caldwell, MB, et al. 1996Weight-related attitudes and behaviors of women who diet to lose weight: a comparison of black dieters and white dietersObes Res4109116PubMedGoogle Scholar
Stevens, J, Kumanyika, SK, Keil, JE 1994Attitudes toward body size and dieting: differences between elderly black and white womenAm J Public Health8413221325PubMedGoogle Scholar
Smith, DE, Thompson, JK, Raczynski, JM, et al. 1999Body image among men and women in a biracial cohort: the CARDIA StudyInt J Eat Disord257182PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Powell, AD, Kahn, AS 1995Racial differences in women’s desires to be thinInt J Eat Disord17191195PubMedGoogle Scholar
Katz, ML, Gordon-Larsen, P, Bentley, ME, et al. 2004“Does skinny mean healthy?” Perceived ideal, current, and healthy body sizes among African-American girls and their female caregiversEthn Dis14533541PubMedGoogle Scholar
Kennen, EM, Davis, TC, Huang, J, et al. 2005Tipping the scales: the effect of literacy on obese patients’ knowledge and readiness to lose weightSouth Med J981518PubMedGoogle Scholar
NHS Health Scotland (2003) Health Education Population Survey. Date Accessed: June 2004.Google Scholar
Burns, CM, Tijhuis, MA, Seidell, JC 2001The relationship between quality of life and perceived body weight and dieting history in Dutch men and womenInt J Obes Relat Metab Disord2513861392PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Anonymous (2004) Prevalence of no leisure-time physical activity – 35 States and the District of Columbia, 1988–2002. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep53(4):82–86.Google Scholar
Villanueva, EV 2001The validity of self-reported weight in US adults: a population based cross-sectional studyBMC Public Health111PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wilcox, S, Richter, DL, Henderson, KA, et al. 2002Perceptions of physical activity and personal barriers and enablers in African-American womenEthn Dis12353362PubMedGoogle Scholar
Belza, B, Walwick, J, Shiu-Thornton, S, et al. 2004Older adult perspectives on physical activity and exercise: voices from multiple culturesPrev Chronic Dis1A09PubMedGoogle Scholar
Henderson, KA, Ainsworth, BE 2003A synthesis of perceptions about physical activity among older African-American and American Indian womenAm J Public Health93313317PubMedGoogle Scholar
Young, DR, Gittelsohn, J, Charleston, J, et al. 2001Motivations for exercise and weight loss among African-American women: focus group results and their contribution towards program developmentEthn Health6227245PubMedGoogle Scholar
Ghafoor, A, Jemal, A, Cokkinides, V, et al. 2002Cancer statistics for African-AmericansCA Cancer J Clin52326341PubMedGoogle Scholar
Ward, E, Jemal, A, Cokkinides, V, et al. 2004Cancer disparities by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic statusCA Cancer J Clin547893PubMedGoogle Scholar
Schootman, M, Jeffe, D, Kinman, E, et al. 2005Evaluating the utility and accuracy of a reverse telephone directory to identify the location of survey respondentsAnn Epidemiol15160166PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brill, PA, Kohl, HW, Rogers, T, et al. 1991The relationship between sociodemographic characteristics and recruitment, retention, and health improvements in a worksite health promotion programAm J Health Promot5215221PubMedGoogle Scholar
Kumanyika, SK, Obarzanek, E, Stevens, VJ, et al. 1991Weight-loss experience of black and white participants in NHLBI-sponsored clinical trialsAm J Clin Nutr531631S1638SPubMedGoogle Scholar
Kumanyika, SK, Ewart, CK 1990Theoretical and baseline considerations for diet and weight control of diabetes among blacksDiabetes Care1311541162PubMedGoogle Scholar
Foster, GD, Wadden, TA, Swain, RM, et al. 1999Changes in resting energy expenditure after weight loss in obese African American and white womenAm J Clin Nutr691317PubMedGoogle Scholar
Wing, RR, Anglin, K 1996Effectiveness of a behavioral weight control program for blacks and whites with NIDDMDiabetes Care19409413PubMedGoogle Scholar
McNabb, W, Quinn, M, Kerver, J, et al. 1997The PATHWAYS church-based weight loss program for urban African-American women at risk for diabetesDiabetes Care2015181523PubMedGoogle Scholar
Kanders, BS, Ullmann-Joy, P, Foreyt, JP, et al. 1994The black American lifestyle intervention (BALI): the design of a weight loss program for working-class African-American womenJ Am Diet Assoc94310312PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Agurs-Collins, TD, Kumanyika, SK, Ten Have, TR, et al. 1997A randomized controlled trial of weight reduction and exercise for diabetes management in older African-American subjectsDiabetes Care2015031511PubMedGoogle Scholar