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African American Women, Body Composition, and Physical Activity

Billy Hawkins, Raegan A. Tuff and Gary Dudley
Journal of African American Studies
Vol. 10, No. 1 (Summer 2006), pp. 44-56
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41819106
Page Count: 13
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African American Women, Body Composition, and Physical Activity
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Abstract

There is greater flexibility in relation to acceptable body sizes in the collective African American community. This could be a contributing factor to secondary illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes. H₁ Participants with higher BMIs will be less satisfied with their current body size; H₂ A higher percentage of participants will not engage in physical activity; H₃ Participants with higher BMIs will have higher percentages of intramuscular fat. Twenty-nine African American college age women were classified as obese, overweight, or normal according to their body mass index. Sixty-six percent of the women participated in some form of physical activity. Over half of the participants used some commercial diet form to lose, gain, or maintain weight. When asked about their level of body satisfaction, the majority of women in all three groups were satisfied. Others were dissatisfied with their shape when they overate or were unable to fit into certain clothes. Regardless of physiological characteristics and despite dieting practices and cosmetic fitness objectives, the majority (90%) of the participants were satisfied with their current body size.

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