Cultural perceptions related to the health and body size of Antiguan women
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Thirty-two Antiguan women from a women's church group attended participatory group meetings to describe their priority health definitions, perceived health barriers, preferred health barrier solutions, and body size preferences and perceptions. Participants were 21-70 years old, and were divided into three age groups. Although 70% of the sample were either overweight or obese, weight issues received little priority as a health related factor. Instead, women under 30 defined health more in terms of personal appearance, and dietary inadequacy from lack of resources, with priority for mental and social health barriers, while those in their 30's were mainly concerned about barriers related to their mental and social well-being, and those ~ 40 years gave priority to dietary inadequacy and inactivity barriers related to chronic and general health factors. Although self-curing barrier solutions were most preferred~ religious and medical solutions were perceived as easier to attain. Using silhouettes, women under 30 frequently chose thinner ideals than those over 30, and perceived themselves as heavier than anthropometric measurements indicated, while those â ¥40 years perceived themselves as lighter.
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