Send to

Choose Destination
J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2003 Dec;16(6):349-54.

Different shapes in different cultures: body dissatisfaction, overweight, and obesity in African-American and caucasian females.

Author information

Division of Adolescent Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, USA.



Body dissatisfaction and medical issues arising at both ends of the weight continuum are discussed from a cultural perspective. More specifically, a possible aesthetic preference and physical tolerance for increased adiposity among African-American females is discussed, as contrasted with that of Caucasian females.


This mini-review of the existing literature suggests many avenues for future research in the cross-cultural aspects of body dissatisfaction, overweight, and obesity. Among these suggestions are (1) educating children and adolescents about excessive weight, (2) assessing cultural perceptions of overweight and obesity among African-Americans, (3) understanding the developmental trajectory of body dissatisfaction in females, and (4) placing more emphasis on the cross-cultural representation and psychological influence of the female body image in the media.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center