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Cancer Causes Control. 2006 Feb;17(1):95-101.

Attitudes Regarding Overweight, Exercise, and Health among Blacks (United States).

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  • 1Department of Society, Human Development and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 44 Binney St., Boston, MA 02115, USA.



To investigate Blacks'views regarding the connections among overweight, exercise, and health.


A national randomized telephone survey of 986 US Blacks, conducted between 6 July 2004 and 15 July 2004.


The majority (65%) of respondents reported their weight as average or underweight. Most participants also reported being regularly physically active in the last month (84.5%). The majority of participants reported believing that it is possible to be overweight and healthy. Most acknowledged the connection between exercise and health, and just over half of respondents identified the association between overweight and cancer risk. There was little sociodemographic variation in responses, although findings differed by self-reported overweight and physical activity.


Some Blacks may underestimate the extent of their overweight, perhaps resulting from the high prevalence of the condition in the population. Gaps exist in Blacks' recognition of the connection between weight and health, although the importance of exercise for health promotion was widely acknowledged. These data may highlight an important target for intervention attention.

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