Upstream Ecological Risks for Overweight and Obesity Among African American Youth in a Rural Town in the Deep South, 2007
Published Date:Dec 15 2010
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 8(1).
Few studies have focused on overweight and obesity among rural African American youth in the Deep South, despite disproportionately high rates in this group. In addition, few studies have been conducted to elucidate how these disparities are created and perpetuated within rural communities in this region. This descriptive study explores community-based risks for overweight and obesity among African American youth in a rural town in the Deep South.
We used ecological theory in conjunction with embodiment theory to explore how upstream ecological factors may contribute to risk of overweight and obesity for African American youth in a rural town in the Deep South. We conducted and analyzed in-depth interviews with African American community members who interact with youth in varying contexts (home, school, church, community).
Participants most commonly stated that race relations, poverty, and the built environment were barriers to maintaining a healthy weight.
Findings suggested the need for rural, community-based interventions that target obesity at multiple ecological levels and incorporate issues related to race, poverty, and the built environment. More research is needed to determine how disparities in obesity are created and perpetuated in specific community contexts.
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