Ideal weight goals of African American women participating in a weight management program

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This descriptive study examined the ideal weight goals of low-income African American women enrolled in a weight loss intervention. Prior to treatment, 107 overweight African American women were weighed, heights were measured, and participants completed a self-report measure of various weight-related variables (e.g., ideal goal weight, amount lost with previous attempts). The average baseline body mass index (BMI) was 38.8kg/m(2). The average ideal BMI was 27.2kg/m(2), which would require a 29.2% reduction in weight. Ideal weight loss was approximately 25kg greater than that achieved during past attempts. Results suggest this ethnic minority sample demonstrated satisfaction with achieving an ideal weight still classified as overweight. However, the percentage of weight loss required to reach such goals is much greater than that recommended by expert guidelines. Although future research is needed, weight loss interventionists may need to address African American women's acceptance of heavier weight when treating their obesity.

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