Background: Gender and race differences in preventive health behavior have been examined in several studies. A few race- and gender-specific studies of health-promoting activities have been conducted although none of these specifically addresses race, female gender, obesity, and health-promoting activities. Such a study would fill an important gap in the literature. Objectives: To examine the effects of race and obesity on health-promoting behaviors in women. Method: A comparative descriptive design was used with two levels of body size (obese and nonobese) and two levels of race (African American and European American). Results: Obese women scored lower than nonobese women on all Health-Promoting Lifestyle Profile (HPLP) scales. African American women scored lower than European women only on nutrition. Conclusions: Health promotion counseling should be considered for all obese women because obesity may be a mediating variable between race and health-promoting behaviors.
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