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Scholars Day: April 15, 2009

Body Mass Index, Weight Loss Behaviors and Perceived Barriers to Healthy Body Weight Among Working Women: Implications for a Worksite Wellness Program

According to the most recent national data, 67% of American adults are either overweight and/or obese, with 35.3% of women and 33.3% of men being obese. This research aims to better understand the unique obstacles faced by adult working women who are attempting to maintain or achieve a healthy weight. Forty-seven female college employees completed an on-line survey assessing a variety of weight-related behaviors and beliefs. Results indicated that 82% of the women were overweight and/or obese, according to BMI standards Furthermore, 88.4% indicated some degree of body dissatisfaction and 85.1% thought their health would benefit from losing weight. Eating behaviors and motivational factors were cited as the two biggest barriers to achieving a healthy body weight. In conclusion, desk jobs may place women at a significantly higher risk for obesity than the greater adult female population. These findings support the need for a multi-dimensional healthy weight intervention designed for women with sedentary desk jobs. Programs should emphasize a behavioral component addressing motivational factors, as well as dietary habits and physical activity levels.

Presenter: Rikki Cannioto (Faculty)
Topic: Physical Education and Sport
Location: 123 Hartwell
Time: 4:15 pm (Session V)