Examining Differences in CVD Knowledge and Body Image Perceptions in Racial/Ethnic Groups

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Females with low-income levels are disproportionally affected by both obesity and cardiovascular disease, with Non-Hispanic Blacks as the leading ethnic group. Despite representing significantly higher levels of obesity than other racial groups, black females still hold positive views of their body image- which may indicate a normalization of their overweight circumstances. The purpose of this study is to examine influences on obesity and CVD knowledge amongst racial groups. A sample of 225 participants were asked to participate in a cross-sectional study. After receiving consent, a 42-question survey comprised of demographic information, Heart Disease Fact Questionnaire created by Wagner, and the Body Shape Questionnaire created by Cooper was used to measure overall CVD knowledge and perceived body image. An Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) test was conducted to find differences between test groups. The results of the ANOVAs showed no differences in CVD knowledge among females. In addition, no differences were found in CVD knowledge amongst Non-Hispanic Black males and females. Significant differences were found in body image perceptions between obese African American females and both other BMI groups (F(2,52) = 6.69, p = .03).
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Public Health
Public Health, Health Education