Logo of amjphAmerican Journal of Public Health Web SiteAmerican Public Health Association Web SiteSubmissionsSubscriptionsAbout Us
Am J Public Health. 1994 August; 84(8): 1322–1325.
PMCID: PMC1615469

Attitudes toward body size and dieting: differences between elderly black and white women.


Eating restraint and body size perceptions of 404 White and African-American women 66 to 105 years of age (mean age = 73 years) were assessed by questionnaire. Compared with overweight White women, overweight Black women were 0.6 times as likely to feel guilty after overeating, 0.4 times as likely to diet, 2.5 times as likely to be satisfied with their weight, and 2.7 times as likely to consider themselves attractive. Among those who were not overweight, Black women were half as likely as White women to consider themselves overweight. Compared with Black women, White women perceived themselves to be larger and reported a lower ideal body weight.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.2M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Gillum RF. Overweight and obesity in black women: a review of published data from the National Center for Health Statistics. J Natl Med Assoc. 1987 Aug;79(8):865–871. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Kumanyika S. Obesity in black women. Epidemiol Rev. 1987;9:31–50. [PubMed]
  • Kumanyika SK, Obarzanek E, Stevens VJ, Hebert PR, Whelton PK, Kumanyaka SK. Weight-loss experience of black and white participants in NHLBI-sponsored clinical trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 1991 Jun;53(6 Suppl):1631S–1638S. [PubMed]
  • Kumanyika S, Wilson JF, Guilford-Davenport M. Weight-related attitudes and behaviors of black women. J Am Diet Assoc. 1993 Apr;93(4):416–422. [PubMed]
  • Kahn HS, Williamson DF, Stevens JA. Race and weight change in US women: the roles of socioeconomic and marital status. Am J Public Health. 1991 Mar;81(3):319–323. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Desmond SM, Price JH, Hallinan C, Smith D. Black and white adolescents' perceptions of their weight. J Sch Health. 1989 Oct;59(8):353–358. [PubMed]
  • Dawson DA. Ethnic differences in female overweight: data from the 1985 National Health Interview Survey. Am J Public Health. 1988 Oct;78(10):1326–1329. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Williamson DF, Serdula MK, Anda RF, Levy A, Byers T. Weight loss attempts in adults: goals, duration, and rate of weight loss. Am J Public Health. 1992 Sep;82(9):1251–1257. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bennett EM. Weight-loss practices of overweight adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 1991 Jun;53(6 Suppl):1519S–1521S. [PubMed]
  • Stephenson MG, Levy AS, Sass NL, McGarvey WE. 1985 NHIS findings: nutrition knowledge and baseline data for the weight-loss objectives. Public Health Rep. 1987 Jan-Feb;102(1):61–67. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Brown PJ, Konner M. An anthropological perspective on obesity. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1987;499:29–46. [PubMed]
  • Garner DM, Garfinkel PE, Schwartz D, Thompson M. Cultural expectations of thinness in women. Psychol Rep. 1980 Oct;47(2):483–491. [PubMed]
  • Striegel-Moore RH, Silberstein LR, Rodin J. Toward an understanding of risk factors for bulimia. Am Psychol. 1986 Mar;41(3):246–263. [PubMed]
  • Boyle E., Jr Biological pattern in hypertension by race, sex, body weight, and skin color. JAMA. 1970 Sep 7;213(10):1637–1643. [PubMed]
  • Landis JR, Koch GG. The measurement of observer agreement for categorical data. Biometrics. 1977 Mar;33(1):159–174. [PubMed]
  • Sichieri R, Everhart JE, Hubbard VS. Relative weight classifications in the assessment of underweight and overweight in the United States. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1992 Apr;16(4):303–312. [PubMed]
  • Hibscher JA, Herman CP. Obesity, dieting, and the expression of "obese" characteristics. J Comp Physiol Psychol. 1977 Apr;91(2):374–380. [PubMed]
  • Johnson WG, Lake L, Mahan JM. Restrained eating: measuring an elusive construct. Addict Behav. 1983;8(4):413–418. [PubMed]
  • Ritenbaugh C. Obesity as a culture-bound syndrome. Cult Med Psychiatry. 1982 Dec;6(4):347–364. [PubMed]
  • Sobal J, Stunkard AJ. Socioeconomic status and obesity: a review of the literature. Psychol Bull. 1989 Mar;105(2):260–275. [PubMed]

Articles from American Journal of Public Health are provided here courtesy of American Public Health Association


Save items

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • Cited in Books
    Cited in Books
    NCBI Bookshelf books that cite the current articles.
  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...