Eating regulation and nutrition intervention among African American women caretakers of young children

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kendra Batten (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Lauren Haldeman

Abstract: African American female caretakers may be placed at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease due to parental demands and greater prevalence of cardiovascular co-morbid conditions in African American women. While it is known that diet quality contributes to cardiovascular disease risk, less is known about the role eating regulation plays in cardiovascular disease risk for African American female caretakers with children 12 years old or younger living in North Carolina. This three-phase cross-sectional mixed methods study included a needs assessment survey, individual interviews and feasibility testing of a nutrition intervention designed to reduce cardiovascular disease risk through modification of eating regulation and enhanced motivation. The needs assessment survey identified factors that may help explain cardiovascular disease risk in the target population. Phase 1 results indicated that participants (n=82) were on average 36 years old (±8.9 years) with a BMI of 32kg/m2. Participants reported frequent intake of highly processed foods and less than 50% reported engaging in regular physical activity. High blood pressure (19%), obesity (7%) and diabetes (6%) were the most frequently reported medical condition in this sample. Participants’ eating regulation fell on a continuum from extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation with most (97%) needing moderate or no external motivators to regulate eating. African American female caretakers (96%) did not perceive themselves as having difficulty controlling overeating. Obese weight status and frequent intake of highly processed foods suggest that overeating needed further investigation to better understanding the role of eating regulation in African American female caretakers. Further investigation of overeating was completed through individual semi-structured interviews (n=8) in Phase 2 to identify concepts related to overeating. Participants were on average 33 years old, and more than 80% reported some college education. The following preliminary themes were revealed: diet-related autonomy and competence, behavioral capacity, barriers to eating healthy, cultural influence, behaviors and environments influence health-related goals, relationships, and emotional overeating. Additionally, situational eating behaviors related to COVID-19 were revealed. Overeating was defined as dynamic interactions among physical, psychological, cultural, environmental and social variables that override hunger and satiety cues. Feasibility of a nutrition education intervention was examined to determine the acceptability of a workshop designed to reduce cardiovascular disease risk in Phase 3. Two participants (average age=37 years old) were college graduates and had full-time employment. Participants reported that the messaging, language and visuals were acceptable. Overall, results of this study suggest that overeating may play a role in cardiovascular disease risk for the target population and nutrition education may be an appropriate means to reduce their cardiovascular disease risk.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
Adult females, African American, Eating regulation, Motivation
Ingestion $x Regulation
Cardiovascular system $x Diseases $x Nutritional aspects
African American caregivers $x Health and hygiene
Women caregivers $x Health and hygiene

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