Project Title

Racial and Socioeconomic Differences Influencing Obesity Amongst Middle Aged Women

Academic department under which the project should be listed

Sociology & Criminal Justice

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Evelina Sterling

Additional Faculty

Dr. Thomas McElroy, Biology, tmcelro2@kennesaw.edu

Dr. Phaedra Corso, Public Health, pcorso@kennesaw.edu

Dr. Lisa Ganser, Biology, lganser@kennesaw.edu

Project Type

Event

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Few studies have examined the relationship between racial and socioeconomic disparities and health-related differences in obesity. Studies suggest that racial and socioeconomic disparities can influence the mental and physical well-being of an individual. Obesity is a disease that affects many Americans and has become an epidemic affecting 42 percent of the American population. Obesity, especially morbid obesity, is a risk factor for many other obesity-related diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and hypertension. Specifically, studies have shown that women are more likely to be overweight and or obese than men. The Healthcare Avoidance study consisted of 1190 middle-aged women. This project addresses obesity from a holistic perspective by performing a secondary analysis and examining how stress from socioeconomic status, race, and mental health impacts obesity and other chronic conditions in women. This study focused on two racial groups of women; White women (non-Hispanic) and Black women (non-Hispanic). Thus, a comparative analysis of the two groups will show the relationship between trends at the intersection of mental health (self-esteem, stress, etc.) and physical health (eating behaviors/ patterns) and obesity. Results from this study should indicate that Black women (non-Hispanic) will have a higher prevalence of obesity and chronic diseases than white women and a higher prevalence of psychological stress than white women due to socioeconomic status and sociocultural influences. This would suggest that socioeconomic status and race barriers can affect health and or behavioral outcomes.

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Racial and Socioeconomic Differences Influencing Obesity Amongst Middle Aged Women

Few studies have examined the relationship between racial and socioeconomic disparities and health-related differences in obesity. Studies suggest that racial and socioeconomic disparities can influence the mental and physical well-being of an individual. Obesity is a disease that affects many Americans and has become an epidemic affecting 42 percent of the American population. Obesity, especially morbid obesity, is a risk factor for many other obesity-related diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and hypertension. Specifically, studies have shown that women are more likely to be overweight and or obese than men. The Healthcare Avoidance study consisted of 1190 middle-aged women. This project addresses obesity from a holistic perspective by performing a secondary analysis and examining how stress from socioeconomic status, race, and mental health impacts obesity and other chronic conditions in women. This study focused on two racial groups of women; White women (non-Hispanic) and Black women (non-Hispanic). Thus, a comparative analysis of the two groups will show the relationship between trends at the intersection of mental health (self-esteem, stress, etc.) and physical health (eating behaviors/ patterns) and obesity. Results from this study should indicate that Black women (non-Hispanic) will have a higher prevalence of obesity and chronic diseases than white women and a higher prevalence of psychological stress than white women due to socioeconomic status and sociocultural influences. This would suggest that socioeconomic status and race barriers can affect health and or behavioral outcomes.