The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3019.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - 9:18 AM

Abstract #69467

Voices across Appalachia

Deborah Coen, MS, CHES, Irene Tessaro, DrPH, Elizabeth Prendergast, MS, CHES, Carol Mangone, PhD, CHES, Carol Mangone, PhD, CHES, Sharon Brinkman-Windle, MPA, Lindsey Parker, MS, and Lisa Burkhart, BA. Center for Healthy Communities, West Virginia University, 3040 University Avenue, Room 3341, PO Box 6275, Morgantown, WV 26506, 304-293-5182,

West Virginia (WV) is the second most rural state in the nation, with its rural, mountainous terrain resulting in geographic isolation, economic exploitation, lower standards of living, economic underdevelopment, lower than average educational attainment, and restricted social and economic opportunities. As a result, WV experiences one of the worst health profiles in the nation, and an alarmingly high rate of obesity. This project, part of the West Virginia University Center for Healthy Communities, will use focus groups to provide a cultural perspective on obesity in WV. The goal of this qualitative project is to gain a cultural perspective on obesity that would be useful in planning community-based overweight and obesity prevention interventions. Twenty-eight diverse focus groups will be conducted in community settings in four areas of West Virginia: Northern Panhandle, Eastern Panhandle, Southern WV, and Central WV. There will be seven focus groups per region, two each with men, women, and youth, and one with health care professionals. An open-ended interview script, guided by behavior and social change theories will be used in conducting groups. Questions will concentrate on cultural beliefs and attitudes regarding overweight and obesity; individual and community weight management strategies used; barriers and facilitators; social support for health behavior change; and the experience and perceptions of health care professionals of overweight in their practice. Data will be tape-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed to elicit patterns, themes, and regularities. Descriptive exploratory methods that search for patterns, themes, and regularities will be used to summarize data.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Culture, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Center for Healthy Communities, West Virginia University
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Obesity, Diabetes and Nutrition: Improving Services/Changing Lifestyle Behaviors

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA