WEIGHT STIGMA AND ACCULTURATION IN RELATION TO HAIR CORTISOL AND BINGE EATING IN ASIAN AMERICANS WITH OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
Creator
  • Wu, Ya-Ke
    • Affiliation: School of Nursing
Abstract
  • Weight stigma is a pervasive social problem in Americans, but little is known about its impact on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity and binge eating behaviors among Asian Americans. The aims of the study were to 1) examine the relationship between weight stigma and hair cortisol among Asian Americans with overweight and obesity; 2) examine the relationship between weight stigma and binge eating among Asian Americans with overweight and obesity; 3) examine whether the level of acculturation moderates the relationships of weight stigma with hair cortisol and binge eating among Asian Americans with overweight and obesity. Using a cross-sectional study design, data were collected from a convenience sample of 166 Asian American adults with overweight and obesity living in North Carolina, United States (U.S.). The participants primarily identified as first generation (94%), had a mean age of 45.7 years, and a mean body mass index of 26.6 kg/m2. A 50 milligrams hair sample, height and weight, demographic data, hair-related data, the frequency of weight stigma, binge eating, level of acculturation for Asians, perceived racial discrimination for Asians, and perceived stress was collected. Description analysis, between-groups comparison, Spearman correlation coefficients, and multiple regression analyses were used for all aims. The results demonstrated that weight stigma was negatively correlated with hair cortisol and positively correlated with binge eating. After adjusting for age, perceived racism and perceived stress, weight stigma demonstrated a negative association with hair cortisol, but this result was not statistically significant. After adjusting for age, BMI, years lived in the U.S., perceived racism and perceived stress, weight stigma was significantly associated with binge eating. The level of acculturation did not significantly moderate the relationships of weight stigma with hair cortisol and binge eating after adjusting for age, BMI, years lived in the U.S., perceived racism and perceived stress. The findings highlighted the importance of alerting the public regarding the negative effects of weight stigma and including Asian American communities as targets of anti-weight bias interventions to decrease bullying and stigmatization toward Asian Americans with overweight and obesity.
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Advisor
  • Berry, Diane
  • Leeman, Jennifer
  • Schwartz, Todd
  • Richman, Laura
  • Hodges, Eric
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2018
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