European American (EA) women report greater body dissatisfaction and less dietary control than do African American (AA) women. This study investigated whether ethnic differences in dieting history contributed to differences in body dissatisfaction and dietary control, or to differential changes that may occur during weight loss and regain. Eighty-nine EA and AA women underwent dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry to measure body composition and completed questionnaires to assess body dissatisfaction and dietary control before, after, and one year following, a controlled weight-loss intervention. While EA women reported a more extensive dieting history than AA women, this difference did not contribute to ethnic differences in body dissatisfaction and perceived dietary control. During weight loss, body satisfaction improved more for AA women, and during weight regain, dietary self-efficacy worsened to a greater degree for EA women. Ethnic differences in dieting history did not contribute significantly to these differential changes. Although ethnic differences in body image and dietary control are evident prior to weight loss, and some change differentially by ethnic group during weight loss and regain, differences in dieting history do not contribute significantly to ethnic differences in body image and dietary control.
Adult, African Americans, Analysis of Variance, Body Image, Body Mass Index, Body Size, Body Weight, Diet Therapy, European Continental Ancestry Group, Exercise, Feeding Behavior, Female, Humans, Self Concept, Surveys and Questionnaires, Weight Loss