Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ann Behav Med. 1998 Winter;20(1):13-24.

Body images and obesity risk among black females: a review of the literature.

Author information

  • 1Northwestern University Medical School, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.


The prevalence of obesity among Black women has reached epidemic proportions. Some researchers have suggested that the body images of Black females may contribute to their high risk for obesity by inhibiting motivation for weight control. While a number of empirical studies have examined the body images of Black females, findings are complex and at times, inconsistent. For example, some studies show that Black females consider overweight bodies more attractive, while other studies show that Black females prefer normal-weight bodies. Divergent findings may be due, in part, to the multidimensional nature of body image. Inconsistencies may also be due to differences between the Black females sampled. Methodological problems, including the use of measures that have been validated among Black females, the use of various weight-for-height standards, and the inconsistent analyses of or lack of physiological data, also may contribute to conflicting results. This review addresses the complexity of body image findings among a heterogeneous Black female population and the relationship between their body images and obesity risk. Implications for effective obesity treatment programs and suggestions for improvements in future body image studies are also discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk