African American; women; obesity; BMI; socioecological models; determinants of health; health inequities


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition | Medicine and Health Sciences | Women's Health


Objective: To determine associations between African American female obesity and SEM variables.

Design: Data from the National Survey of American Life Self-Administered Questionnaire (NSAL-SAQ), a 2001–2003 nationally representative cross-sectional survey was used to extract data for African American women.

Participants: African American females at a BMI of 18.5 kg/m2 or greater were included in the final sample (n = 2,100) for analysis.

Main Outcome Measure(s): BMI

Analysis: Measures for socioecological model (SEM) were analyzed using a regression model in SPSS.

Results: Intrapersonal and community/institutional levels were found to be significantly associated with BMI. Two multiple regression analyses models were developed to determine predictive capabilities. Model 1 was found to be more predictive than model 2, but both had a low level of predictive capability for BMI.

Conclusion and Implications: Findings in this study indicate that intrapersonal and community influences have the greatest impacts on obesity rates among African American women. Providing African American women with the resources needed to improve their financial circumstances, through higher educational attainment women can impact a number of community/institutional variables, impacting weight.


Francoise Knox-Kazimierczuk

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Revision Letter

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