Obesity has been identified as a public health crisis across demographics; as such, it is especially a risk factor for disease in African American women. However, the factors that contribute to this risk continue to elude researchers. While obesity shares a relationship with depression—as depressive symptoms influence eating behaviors in some demographics—the pathways of influence between depression and eating behaviors on obesity are not as clear with regard to African American women. This study took a closer look at those pathways and examined the relationship between obesity, emotional eating, and depression in women. Race was examined as a moderator in the relationship between emotional eating and depressive symptoms predicting obesity. Emotional eating is defined as “overeating in response to negative emotional states” as well as “poor food choices in response to stress and negative mood.” To assess these goals, 345 women completed an online survey that included: demographic questions; 25 questions from the Emotional Eating Scale; 10 questions from the Perceived Stress Scale; 20 questions from the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale-Revised; and height and weight to assess body mass index (BMI). Race was a significant predictor of obesity as African American women had greater BMI when compared to White women. In addition, women who engaged in more emotional eating were more likely to have higher BMI. The relationship between emotional eating and obesity was moderated by race; emotional eating was a strong predictor of obesity in White women but not African American women. Further research is warranted to identify factors related to obesity that include other measures for weight beyond BMI as well as the eating behaviors of African American women.
|Commitee:||Fox, Lisa, Hansen, Cheri|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||DAI-B 80/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Health sciences, Public health, Psychology|
|Keywords:||African American women, Emotional eating, Obesity, Race|
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