Body image preferences among urban African Americans and whites from low income communities

Diane M Becker, Lisa Yanek, Dyann Matson Koffman, Yvonne C. Bronner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine (1) how African-American and white men and women from similar low income communities perceive their body mass relative to others in the population; and (2) whether ethnic and gender differences exist in the selection of ideal body image sizes for the same and opposite sex. Design: A street survey of African-American and white men and women was conducted using a census tract sampling schema. Participants (N = 927) were interviewed and asked to provide their height and weight and to select body size images from a standardized ethnic-specific Figure Rating Scale to represent their current self, ideal self, and their estimation of ideals for the opposite sex. Sociodemographics and co-morbidity were assessed by self-report. Results: All ethnic and gender groups showed a significant correlation between their body mass index and selected body image size, r = .63 to .74, all P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-386
Number of pages10
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1999



  • African American
  • Community
  • Obesity
  • Socioeconomic Status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Medicine(all)

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