Denominational Differences in Obesity Among Black Christian Adults: Why Gender and Life Stage Matter

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Religiosity is a potential social determinant of obesity risk among black Americans, a group that tends to be highly religious and disproportionately suffers from this disease. Although religious engagement differs within this group, researchers often classify black Protestants into broad categories, making it challenging to determine which subgroups experience the worst outcomes. Using data from the National Survey of American Life, this study investigated whether black adults from various Christian denominations had comparable odds of having obesity and if these findings were consistent across life stage (i.e., young, middle, and late adulthood). Results suggest that for middle-aged Pentecostal women, and men and women who attend church most frequently, the odds of having obesity were comparably higher than their respective counterparts. These findings indicate that, even when denominational consolidation is appropriate in other religious research contexts, researchers should consider diaggregating black Christians by denomination when examining the relationship between religion and health.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bentley-Edwards, KL; Robbins, PA; Blackman Carr, LT; Smith, IZ; Conde, E; Darity, WA

Published Date

  • September 1, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 60 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 498 - 515

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1468-5906

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-8294

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/jssr.12722

Citation Source

  • Scopus