Body Image as a Contributor to Weight in Pregnancy and Postpartum: Racial Differences

  • Tiffany L. Carson
  • Kesha Baptiste-Roberts
  • Tiffany L. Gary-Webb


The alarming disparities in obesity and related conditions for African-Americans compared to Whites have prompted the investigation of social and cultural influences of the obesogenic environment as potential contributors. One such cultural influence may be body image, which encompasses one’s perception of body size and the emotional attitude toward that perception. While studies show that body image is significantly associated with weight, studies during pregnancy have been few, particularly among minority populations. The concept of body image and its influence on weight control should be considered in various phases of a woman’s life, including pregnancy.


Body image Racial/ethnic disparities Cultural influences Weight control Prepregnancy Postpartum 



Dr. Gary-Webb was funded by a grant from NHLBI (K01-HL084700).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tiffany L. Carson
    • 1
  • Kesha Baptiste-Roberts
    • 2
  • Tiffany L. Gary-Webb
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Preventive MedicineUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham School of MedicineBirminghamUSA
  2. 2.School of Nursing and College of Medicine, Department of Public Health SciencesThe Pennsylvania State UniversityHersheyUSA
  3. 3.Department of EpidemiologyColumbia University Mailman School of Public HealthNew YorkUSA

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