Obesity in African-American Early to Middle-Aged Females: Prevention and Treatment through Education


The objective of this study was to develop an educational program for African-American females on diet and exercise in the treatment and prevention of obesity. African-American female participants aged 30-50 with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 25 were recruited for inclusion in the study. A qualitative assessment was completed which observed the attitudes, personal beliefs, dietary and physical risk factors regarding weight loss before and after an educational intervention which focused specifically on the targeted population. Pre- and post-assessment questionnaires were utilized in this study. This design intended to measure whether the educational intervention affected real change among the participant’s lifestyle choices. Results revealed that most participants initially did not consider themselves to be overweight or obese and that after the education intervention, realized that they were overweight or obese. Many participants felt that their support systems were adequate. Initially, participants consumed fried foods and high calorie drinks. After the educational intervention, many preferred baked foods and decreased the intake of high calorie drinks. Emotions were also identified as a cause of overeating. Many participants found the educational sessions beneficial to their weight loss and fitness efforts. Challenges such as lack of adequate social support and emotions controlling eating patterns still exist in this population and need to be addressed. The creation of standardized protocols to directly address emotional needs at every medical visit would assist in identification of problems which could negatively affect lifestyle choices.

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Millender, D. ,  , D. and  , W. (2014) Obesity in African-American Early to Middle-Aged Females: Prevention and Treatment through Education. Open Journal of Nursing, 4, 231-236. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2014.44027.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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