African American male HBCU students more likely perceive overweight and obese pulver body images as ‘ ideal' and ‘healthy'
Monday, November 4, 2013
: 9:10 AM - 9:30 AM
Background: African-Americans (AA) who are disproportionately overweight and obese may also perceive unhealthy body images as healthy thereby increasing their risk for the early onset of disease and disability. Objective: This study shows difference in perception of Pulver Body Image by gender among African American HBCU students. Methods: Freshman students (n=367) completed a questionnaire that collected data on general demographics and perceptions of body shape when viewing the Pulvers Body Image Scale (PBIS). Students were asked to visually select the body image that best represented their ‘current', ‘ideal', and a ‘healthy' body shape.Results: Without initially viewing the PBIS, most students described their weight as normal (61%). However, after viewing the PBIS to identify the body image that best represented their body shape there were no differences by gender in the AA students to select the ‘normal', over weight' and ‘obese' body shape as their current body shape. Significantly more AA females selected the normal body image as their ‘ideal' (61.8%) and ‘healthy' (58.3%) body shape compared to males (p<0.001. By contrast, significantly more AA males selected the overweight body image as their ‘ideal' (44.2%) and ‘healthy' (39.3%) body shape (p<0.001). Similarly, significantly more AA males selected the obese body image as their ‘ideal' (39.3%) and ‘healthy' (31.9%) body shape (p<0.001). Conclusions: HBCU freshmen males students perceive a larger body image as ‘healthy' and ‘ideal' more often than female students in this population. Therefore, early and intensive intervention within this population is critical to curbing the national obesity epidemic.
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Identify difference in perception of body image between male and female African American HBCU students
Keywords: Obesity, Gender
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the co-principal of a federally funded grant focusing on cardiovascular disease and cholesterol in minority populations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.