Should body size preference be a target of health promotion efforts to address the epidemic of obesity in Afro-Caribbean women?

Eugene S. Tull, Cleve Butler, Tisa Wickramasuriya, Henry Fraser, Earle C. Chambers, Vadie Brock, Tamu Brown, Juleen Christopher, Alexis Clipper, Dietra Neal-Furgusen, Ehmonie Haney, Monique Spurill, Oscar Jordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To determine if 1) Afro-Caribbean women prefer large body sizes, 2) the body size preference of Afro-Caribbean men and women are associated, 3) women's preferences are associated with increased risk of obesity or with weight management behaviors. Design: Population samples of 314 and 487 women, ages 20-55 years, were recruited on Barbados and Dominica with response rates of 74% and 77%, respectively. Body size preferences, stress related variables, and demographic data were ascertained by questionnaire. Height and weight were also measured. On Barbados, body preference data were collected from male partners of participants, and data on intentions to perform weight management behaviors were collected from 175 women. Results: Most women preferred body sizes within normal limits, although women on Dominica had a slightly larger ideal body size (IBS) than did Barbadian women (P<.05). On both islands, the size that women thought men preferred was related to their IBS (P<.0001). Likewise, IBS was associated with increased odds of being overweight (P<.001), however most overweight women (>75%) wanted to be smaller. IBS was not related to the intention to exercise or to eat high fat foods. Conclusions: It is unlikely that body size preference poses a barrier to intervention efforts to reduce the prevalence of overweight in Afro-Caribbean women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)652-660
Number of pages9
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Volume11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Afro-Caribbean
  • Body Size
  • Overweight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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  • Cite this

    Tull, E. S., Butler, C., Wickramasuriya, T., Fraser, H., Chambers, E. C., Brock, V., Brown, T., Christopher, J., Clipper, A., Neal-Furgusen, D., Haney, E., Spurill, M., & Jordan, O. (2001). Should body size preference be a target of health promotion efforts to address the epidemic of obesity in Afro-Caribbean women? Ethnicity and Disease, 11(4), 652-660.