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Committee members: Rickie Brawer, PhD, MPH and Natasha Johnson-Andrews, MsEd.


There is still much to be understood about the nutrition habits of adolescents who are just beginning to break away from familial habits and developing individual identities. The African American community in particular, is known to experience disproportionate amounts of overweight and obesity resulting in chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. This study used quantitative and qualitative measures to assess the nutrition skills, knowledge, and attitudesof African American girls aged 14-17. After data analysis, it was found that African American adolescent girls had high body image and self esteem but poor nutrition skill and knowledge. Body image and weight was more closely linked to self esteem rather than health. The results raise the question how should nutrition education be addressed for this group when they do not seem to be concerned with the health risks associated with high body weight and body mass index.

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