Date of Conferral
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
As obesity has reached an epidemic level, the female population age 35 years and older is struggling with increased risks of death from type 2 diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers. The purpose of this study was to explore the perception of overweight and obesity among African American women 35 years and older in Houston, Texas. A phenomenological approach was adopted for this study to explore the perception of overweight and obesity among African American women 35 years and older in Houston, Texas. This study was also guided by the Health Belief Model as a conceptual framework in relation to overweight prevention and obesity control. Flyers were distributed to recruit participants from church, fitness center, and AllcareMedical Center. Ten African American women 35 years and older living in Houston, Texas were selected to participate for this study. The selected participants were either obese, overweight, at risk of being obese or overweight or had family member who is either overweight or obese. Face-to-face interviews were conducted to collect data, and the information collected was coded for themes. Findings indicated the need to engage in physical exercise and eating right as strategies to reduce the rate of obesity. The study contributes to social change through awareness and education as it encourages health professionals to use the findings to develop relevant strategies to understand the impact of obesity while using the perceptions of overweight and obesity to improve health and well being among African American women 35 years and older.