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Support Needs of Overweight African American Women for Weight Loss

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Objectives : To examine social support needs of obese and overweight African American women for weight loss.

Methods : Focus groups were conducted with overweight and obese African American women. Data were analyzed using standard grounded theory text analysis.

Results : Our middle-aged (45.7 years; SD 12.6) women (N 66) were interested in receiving support from others focused on the health benefits of weight loss. Behaviors perceived as supportive include co-participating in exercise, providing nutrition education, using positive reinforcements, and avoiding criticism.

Conclusions : African American women are interested in a program designed to increase social support for their weight loss.

Keywords: African American; obese; qualitative; social support; weight loss

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5993/AJHB.33.4.1

Affiliations: 1 Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota, Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, Minneapolis, MN.

Publication date: July 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.
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