Weight goals, practices and perceptions among Hispanic and Anglo college females.
This study explored the weight management practices, rates overweight and obesity, perceptions of body weight, and weight management goals in a large sample (N = 467) of Hispanic (n = 421) and Anglo (n = 46) female college students on the U.S.-Mexico border. Women self-reported their height and weight, weight perceptions, and weight management goals and practices. About one third of the sample was overweight and many reported using weight management methods, most notably exercise and restraint dieting. The only significant difference between Anglos and Hispanics was for exercise, where Hispanics reported exercising more frequently. Although most weight control practices positively intercorrelated, exercise and restraint dieting were negatively correlated. Path analyses showed that weight perceptions and weight management goals mediated associations between body mass index and weight management practices. Results suggest that weight management interventions emphasize increasing exercise and controlling calories, together, as a means to achieve healthy weight.