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Any Research on African American Women?



Has any research been done in the area of African American women and diet and exercise, specifically?

1) Do African Americans over cook their vegetables? If so, is this practice unhealthy?

2) Do African Americans women exercise to little?

3) Do African Americans want their children to exercise?

4) Do African Americans see dance as a form of exercise?


This is a very interesting question. I did a literature search using PubMed and found many references to weight loss and exercise in the female African American population as well as in children. Dance was only addressed in one article specifically.

I was unable to locate any research on vegetable preparation. I can tell you that overcooking (such as in boiling or frying) vegetables will destroy many vitamins contained in them and would, therefore, make them less nutritious. Frying vegetables will add extra calories to an otherwise low calorie food, which could contribute to weight gain.

All of your questions seem to be wonderful research project topics. I suggest that you explore the search engine “PubMed” for more specifics. I have listed a some of the references I found that may be of interest to you. I hope this is helpful to you.

  • Fitzgibbon ML, Stolley MR, Dyer AR, VanHorn L, KauferChristoffel K. A community-based obesity prevention program for minority children: rationale and study design for Hip-Hop to Health Jr. Prev Med. 2002 Feb;34(2):289-97.
  • Breitkopf CR, Berenson AB. Correlates of weight loss behaviors among low-income African-American, Caucasian, and Latina women. Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Feb;103(2):231-9.
  • James DC. Gender differences in body mass index and weight loss strategies among African Americans. J Am Diet Assoc. 2003 Oct;103(10):1360-2.
  • July F, Hawthorne D, Elliot J, Robinson W. Weight management behaviors of African American female college students. ABNF J. 2003 May-Jun;14(3):71-2.
  • Thompson VJ, Baranowski T, Cullen KW, Rittenberry L, Baranowski J, Taylor WC, Nicklas T. Influences on diet and physical activity among middle-class African American 8- to 10-year-old girls at risk of becoming obese. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2003 May-Jun;35(3):115-23.
  • Wilcox S, Richter DL, et al. Perceptions of physical activity and personal barriers and enablers in African-American women. Ethn Dis. 2002 Summer;12(3):353-62.
  • Karanja N, Stevens VJ, Hollis JF, Kumanyika SK. Steps to soulful living (steps): a weight loss program for African-American women. Ethn Dis. 2002 Summer;12(3):363-71.
  • Young DR, Gittelsohn J, et al. Motivations for exercise and weight loss among African-American women: focus group results and their contribution towards program development. Ethn Health. 2001 Aug-Nov;6(3-4):227-45.
  • Davis L. Exercise and dietary behaviors in African American elders: stages of change in efficacy expectancies. ABNF J. 2000 May-Jun;11(3):56-8.
  • Resnicow K, Yaroch AL, Davis A, Wang DT, Carter S, Slaughter L, Coleman D, Baranowski T. GO GIRLS!: results from a nutrition and physical activity program for low-income, overweight African American adolescent females. Health Educ Behav. 2000 Oct;27(5):616-31.
  • Guidry ML, Wilson AM. Health promoting behaviors of African-American registered nurses. ABNF J. 1999 Mar-Apr;10(2):37-42. 

For more information:

Go to the Healthy Weight Center health topic.