Motivations for exercise and weight loss among African-American women: Focus group results and their contribution towards program development

D. R. Young, Joel Gittelsohn, Jeanne B Charleston, K. Felix-Aaron, Lawrence Appel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective. African-American women are more likely to be sedentary and maintain higher body weights compared with Caucasian women, although some are physically active and able to maintain weight loss. To develop effective intervention strategies, we need to understand why some women are successful. Design. We conducted focus groups on four distinct groups of African-American women (currently physically active; currently sedentary; successful weight loss for ≥1 year; unsuccessful weight loss) to explore motivations and intervention strategies. Open-ended questions, probes, and visual aids were used to stimulate discussions. Transcripts of sessions were read to highlight themes and concepts. Results. Results indicated that motivators for the exercisers to start exercising were health concerns, weight control, stress reduction, and the influence of others. Motivators to continue exercising were feeling good and having energy. In contrast, the sedentary women reported that social support and enjoyment would be motivating. Both groups reported that physically active women conveyed the image of high energy and self-esteem. The successful weight loss women employed strategies that allowed them to eat a variety of foods and were less likely to 'diet'. The unsuccessful women referred to 'going on a diet' and were more likely to label foods as 'good' or 'bad'. They reported feeling tired and thought that losing weight would give them more energy. Conclusion. This information was used to develop two culturally appropriate interventions for African-American women, which is presented. Conducting formative research in study design protocols can provide an important role in intervention development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-245
Number of pages19
JournalEthnicity and Health
Volume6
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

Fingerprint

Program Development
Focus Groups
African Americans
Motivation
Weight Loss
Exercise
Group
intervention strategy
energy
Emotions
Audiovisual Aids
food
Diet
American
African American Women
Weights and Measures
Food
body weight
Caucasian
Self Concept

Keywords

  • African-Americans
  • Behavior maintenance
  • Physical activity
  • Qualitative studies
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Cultural Studies

Cite this

@article{deac0a839ad2418da771635b2fe95717,
title = "Motivations for exercise and weight loss among African-American women: Focus group results and their contribution towards program development",
abstract = "Objective. African-American women are more likely to be sedentary and maintain higher body weights compared with Caucasian women, although some are physically active and able to maintain weight loss. To develop effective intervention strategies, we need to understand why some women are successful. Design. We conducted focus groups on four distinct groups of African-American women (currently physically active; currently sedentary; successful weight loss for ≥1 year; unsuccessful weight loss) to explore motivations and intervention strategies. Open-ended questions, probes, and visual aids were used to stimulate discussions. Transcripts of sessions were read to highlight themes and concepts. Results. Results indicated that motivators for the exercisers to start exercising were health concerns, weight control, stress reduction, and the influence of others. Motivators to continue exercising were feeling good and having energy. In contrast, the sedentary women reported that social support and enjoyment would be motivating. Both groups reported that physically active women conveyed the image of high energy and self-esteem. The successful weight loss women employed strategies that allowed them to eat a variety of foods and were less likely to 'diet'. The unsuccessful women referred to 'going on a diet' and were more likely to label foods as 'good' or 'bad'. They reported feeling tired and thought that losing weight would give them more energy. Conclusion. This information was used to develop two culturally appropriate interventions for African-American women, which is presented. Conducting formative research in study design protocols can provide an important role in intervention development.",
keywords = "African-Americans, Behavior maintenance, Physical activity, Qualitative studies, Weight loss",
author = "Young, {D. R.} and Joel Gittelsohn and Charleston, {Jeanne B} and K. Felix-Aaron and Lawrence Appel",
year = "2001",
doi = "10.1080/13557850120078143",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "6",
pages = "227--245",
journal = "Ethnicity and Health",
issn = "1355-7858",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "3-4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Motivations for exercise and weight loss among African-American women

T2 - Focus group results and their contribution towards program development

AU - Young, D. R.

AU - Gittelsohn, Joel

AU - Charleston, Jeanne B

AU - Felix-Aaron, K.

AU - Appel, Lawrence

PY - 2001

Y1 - 2001

N2 - Objective. African-American women are more likely to be sedentary and maintain higher body weights compared with Caucasian women, although some are physically active and able to maintain weight loss. To develop effective intervention strategies, we need to understand why some women are successful. Design. We conducted focus groups on four distinct groups of African-American women (currently physically active; currently sedentary; successful weight loss for ≥1 year; unsuccessful weight loss) to explore motivations and intervention strategies. Open-ended questions, probes, and visual aids were used to stimulate discussions. Transcripts of sessions were read to highlight themes and concepts. Results. Results indicated that motivators for the exercisers to start exercising were health concerns, weight control, stress reduction, and the influence of others. Motivators to continue exercising were feeling good and having energy. In contrast, the sedentary women reported that social support and enjoyment would be motivating. Both groups reported that physically active women conveyed the image of high energy and self-esteem. The successful weight loss women employed strategies that allowed them to eat a variety of foods and were less likely to 'diet'. The unsuccessful women referred to 'going on a diet' and were more likely to label foods as 'good' or 'bad'. They reported feeling tired and thought that losing weight would give them more energy. Conclusion. This information was used to develop two culturally appropriate interventions for African-American women, which is presented. Conducting formative research in study design protocols can provide an important role in intervention development.

AB - Objective. African-American women are more likely to be sedentary and maintain higher body weights compared with Caucasian women, although some are physically active and able to maintain weight loss. To develop effective intervention strategies, we need to understand why some women are successful. Design. We conducted focus groups on four distinct groups of African-American women (currently physically active; currently sedentary; successful weight loss for ≥1 year; unsuccessful weight loss) to explore motivations and intervention strategies. Open-ended questions, probes, and visual aids were used to stimulate discussions. Transcripts of sessions were read to highlight themes and concepts. Results. Results indicated that motivators for the exercisers to start exercising were health concerns, weight control, stress reduction, and the influence of others. Motivators to continue exercising were feeling good and having energy. In contrast, the sedentary women reported that social support and enjoyment would be motivating. Both groups reported that physically active women conveyed the image of high energy and self-esteem. The successful weight loss women employed strategies that allowed them to eat a variety of foods and were less likely to 'diet'. The unsuccessful women referred to 'going on a diet' and were more likely to label foods as 'good' or 'bad'. They reported feeling tired and thought that losing weight would give them more energy. Conclusion. This information was used to develop two culturally appropriate interventions for African-American women, which is presented. Conducting formative research in study design protocols can provide an important role in intervention development.

KW - African-Americans

KW - Behavior maintenance

KW - Physical activity

KW - Qualitative studies

KW - Weight loss

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0034783220&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0034783220&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/13557850120078143

DO - 10.1080/13557850120078143

M3 - Article

C2 - 11696933

AN - SCOPUS:0034783220

VL - 6

SP - 227

EP - 245

JO - Ethnicity and Health

JF - Ethnicity and Health

SN - 1355-7858

IS - 3-4

ER -