Obesity and Exercise Perceptions of Men & Women in Ethnically Diverse Communities

Basic information

Obesity is a growing epidemic that effects a majority of adults in the United States. Women, middle-aged adults, and certain ethnic groups experience obesity to a greater degree.

Obesity has been perceived differently between men and women and among non-Hispanic blacks, non-Hispanic whites, and Hispanics.  The consequences of obesity, however, are not limited to a specific gender or ethnic group.  In addition, interventions that are effective in one population may not be effective in others. 

The current study examined community residents’ perspectives on obesity and exercise.  The study partnered with residents from four ethnically diverse neighborhoods that the nursing department has collaborated with extensively over the past fifteen years.  Using a qualitative research design, community residents participated in focus groups to explore their perception of concern around obesity and exercise in their neighborhood, in the lives of family and friends, and in their own personal experiences.  Further, the focus groups explored determinants of obesity and exercise as well as what the participants would view as useful interventions in terms of both content and format.  Results from this project will be used to develop programs that contribute to decreased obesity and improved physical activity. 

Nursing Research Team:
Gail Zandee, Associate Professor of Nursing 

Nursing Student Research Assistants:
Laurel Machiele
Katy Mannes
Becca Sauers



Jesse Moes

Jesse Moes

Associate Professor
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