Race differences in weight concerns among women smokers: results from two independent samples.
To investigate attitudes about weight as they interact with smoking in African American women, we analyzed data from two independent samples of white and African American women smokers--one assembled via a national random-digit-dialing survey, the other consisting of candidates for enrollment in local studies. Findings for the two samples were remarkably consistent. African American women were significantly heavier and significantly more likely to have a self-reported BMI > or = 27. Although the preferred weight for African American women was significantly higher than for white women, the percentage by which they exceeded their preferred body weight did not differ significantly between groups, and the difference between actual and preferred weights was actually greater for African American women. African American women were more likely to be satisfied with their body shape and were significantly less likely to exercise to control weight. They did not differ significantly on binge-eating or dieting. African American women were more likely than white women to be unwilling to gain any weight upon quitting smoking but did not differ significantly on any other smoking-related weight concerns. Our results suggest that weight concerns, though differently conceptualized, may motivate African American women as powerfully as white women. They strongly suggest that race differences need to be considered in designing optimal smoking cessation interventions for weight-concerned women smokers. To accomplish this goal, efforts to identify a vocabulary for the expression of weight concerns in African American women will be needed, as will attention to ways to avoid exacerbating obesity and to encourage exercise.
Pomerleau, CS; Zucker, AN; Namenek Brouwer, RJ; Pomerleau, OF; Stewart, AJ
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