, Volume 99, Issue 3, pp 531-540

Body Image and Quality of Life in a Group of African American Women

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Abstract

African American (AA) women’s preference for a larger body size and underestimation of their body weight may affect the relationship between their body weight and weight-related quality of life (QOL). We wanted to examine the relationship between weight-related QOL and body mass index (BMI) in a sample of overweight AA women. Thirty-three overweight AA women completed a clinic visit to measure height, weight, and complete surveys including the Impact of Weight on Quality of Life-Lite (IWQOL-Lite) and the Stunkard Figure Rating Scale. BMI was calculated using measured height and weight. Correlations and linear regression models were estimated using SAS v 9.1. In this sample, the mean total quality of life score was 78.00 ± 17.68 on a 100 point scale. There was a modest correlation between BMI and total weight-related QOL (r = −0.034, p = 0.053). Body image dissatisfaction was the strongest predictor of total quality of life score (p = 0.04). African American women’s unique cultural perception of body image may play a key role in weight-related QOL.