Age of First Diet Impacts Weight Management Decisions and Strategies among African American Women
Objective: This study sought to determine how the age of first diet affected weight management decisions and weight loss strategies among African American Women.
Methods: A self-administered survey was completed by 413 African American women. Body mass indices (BMI) were calculated from measured weights and heights.
Results: The mean age was 35.63±14.72, the mean BMI was 29.60±7.50, and the mean age of first diet was 25.05±11.10. BMI category varied by age (P<.01). Post-hoc comparisons indicated that younger women significantly more likely to have BMI in the normal category (19.61±7.58) than those in the overweight (26.46±12.83) and obese categories (26.15±10.61). Women who started dieting at a younger age were more likely than older women to overeat because they were depressed (20.67±8.48 vs. 26.62±11.53, P<.0001) and overwhelmed (22.19±8.37 vs. 25.85±11.67, P=.04). They also were more likely to exercise more to lose weight (23.67±9.00 vs. 26.51±11.98, while those who started at an older age were significantly more likely to reduce sweets (25.86±10.48 vs. 23.29±10.19, P=.04) and fried foods to lose weight (26.74±11.01 vs. 21.42±8.42, P=.000). Women who started dieting at a younger age were also more likely to say they would consider cosmetic surgery (21.24±8.90 vs. 26.04±11.35, P<.01).
Discussion/Conclusion: Weight loss messages and programs for African American women may need to be tailored based on age. Furthermore, health professionals should ask women about their emotional/mental health state as overeating may serve as a coping strategy for everyday life stressors.
Learning Areas:Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Discuss how the age of first diet may impact weight management decisions an weight loss strategies among African Americans
Keyword(s): African American, Obesity
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Associate Professor
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.