Obesity and Overweight among Black American Adolescent Females: The Role of Social Influences in Everyday Dietary Practices
Obesity and overweight disproportionately impact Black American adolescent females—placing them at a lifetime of elevated physical health risks. Despite this burden, the literature that explores the contributors to obesity and overweight among Black American adolescent females remains limited and unclear. This dissertation aims to develop knowledge related to obesity and overweight in Black American adolescent females, by appraising the current understanding of factors that contribute to their obesity and overweight, and explicating the everyday social influences on dietary practices. The primary study conducted for this dissertation used a mixed method, multiple case study design to examine the mother, daughter, and other household contributors to Black American adolescent daughters’ everyday practices of food consumption, acquisition, preparation, and planning. Findings reveal the importance of understanding the complex and dynamic ways mothers and other household members contribute to a holistic view of everyday dietary practices among adolescent daughters. By deeply examining the nuanced ways the multiple cases varied, context-dependent knowledge essential to understanding the complicated health challenge of obesity was produced. Subsequently, recommendations are provided for health providers and scholars to more holistically approach and examine obesity—particularly among populations who are disproportionately affected.
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