142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Using Formative Research to Adapt an Evidence-Based Weight Loss Intervention for Low-Income African American Women

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 3:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Sparkle Springfield, BS , Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Matthew Lim, BS , University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM)
Angela Odoms-Young, PhD , Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Marian Fitzgibbon, PhD , Department of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Melinda Stolley, PhD , Health Promotion Research Section/College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL

Despite the high prevalence of obesity in low-income African American women, community-based weight loss approaches for this population have been limited. Guided by a community-based participatory research approach, this study used formative research to adapt an evidence-based intervention (Obesity Reduction Black Intervention Trial (ORBIT) for implementation in a predominately low-income African American community on the Southside of Chicago.


The Obesity Reduction Black Intervention Trial (ORBIT) was a university-based randomized controlled weight loss and weight-loss maintenance (WLM) intervention study targeting African American women ages 30-65 years.  As a follow-up to ORBIT, 40 participants completed a semi -structured ethnographic interview to better understand the barriers/facilitators associated with weight loss in black women. Interviews lasted approximately 45-60 minutes, were transcribed verbatim, and coded using Atlas.ti and constant comparative analysis. 


Data analysis showed that weight status in African American women is the result of a complex interaction between multiple social, cultural, environmental, economic, and psychosocial contexts. Women discussed several issues including definitions of an ideal body image, traditional and western food preferences, limited food access, economic inequality, stress, socio-cultural history, and social and family context.


Study findings were used to inform the development of “Doing Me: Sisters Standing Together for a Healthy Mind and Body”, a community-based, culturally tailored weight loss intervention adapted from ORBIT. Additions to the program sessions included mindful eating, coping with historical and current trauma, sleep, and caring for black hair, as well as several measures such as the superwoman Schema and John Henryism scale. 

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
explain the multilevel factors that influence weight status in black women discuss potential solutions to promote a healthy weight in black women

Keyword(s): Obesity, African American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently a PhD student in nutrition and kinesiology.
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.