Discipline: Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
Subcategory: Social Sciences/Psychology/Economics
Tasharra Dozier - Virginia State University
More than 33% of American adults are obese and 47.8% of African Americans are obese. One primary contributor to the obesity epidemic is poor eating habits. Scherwitz and Kesten (2005) examined the capacity of seven eating styles to predict overeating and obesity and found that all seven eating styles were associated with indulging and five of the eating styles were associated with obesity. The purpose of the present study was to examine the ability of eating behaviors to predict Body Mass Index (BMI). It was hypothesized that eating behaviors would significantly predict BMI, specifically unhealthy eating behaviors would be positively associated with obesity. Unhealthy eating behaviors were characterized as Emotional Eating, which exists in individuals who eat during times of high emotions. Food Fretting which exists in individuals who fret about their food spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about their diet and food choices. The Task Snacking eating style exists in individuals who have a tendency to eat while performing daily tasks. Individuals who take the time to savor their food while eating have the Sensory, Spiritual Nourishment eating style. The Eating Atmosphere eating style evaluates inclination for eating in a tastefully satisfying and peaceful environment. The only eating style that focuses on the type of food consumed, the Fast Food vs. Fresh Food eating style, requires individuals to make a decision between unhealthy fast food choices and healthy fresh whole foods. Ninety eight African American college students (21 men, 77 women) between the ages of 18-43 participated in this study. BMI was calculated using weight and height. The Your Eating Style Profile questionnaire was used to measure eating behaviors. A Multiple Regression analysis revealed that Food Fretting significantly predicted BMI, indicating that those participants who worried about the food, had great levels of obesity. The inability of the other eating behaviors to predict BMI may be due the young age of the participants. The rapid metabolism rates of young people may contribute to the low levels of obesity.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This research was funded by Virginia Sate University HBCU-UP program.
Faculty Advisor: Vernessa R. Clark, email@example.com
Role: I participated in data collection, data analysis and writing of the abstract.