All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Monica L Baskin

Advisory Committee Members

Brenda Bertrand

Suzanne Judd

Paula Chandler-Laney

Tiffany L Carson

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2017

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Health Professions

Abstract

Obesity has become a national epidemic over the last few decades, and lays its heaviest burden on certain populations (eg, rural residents, African-Americans, and African-American women in the Southeast). Obesity increases medical costs substantially, and is a significant risk factor for various chronic conditions, including certain cancers. There is a need to identify specific dietary behaviors that may contribute to obesity and obesity-related cancers among African-American women in the rural South, and to recommend dietary modifications that may alleviate those risks. Previous research has shown that nuts offer numerous health benefits, including weight loss and cancer protection. More research is needed to examine the dietary context of nut intake among African-American women living in the South. This study sought to examine nut intake among overweight and obese African- American women living in rural Alabama and Mississippi by looking at: (1) the amount, source, and quality of nut intake, (2) the difference in median nut intake across distinct dietary patterns, and (3) the relationship between nut intake and the intake of select protective or injurious foods over time. The relationship between diet and weight was also examined. Findings will elucidate the dietary conditions under which nuts are consumed in this population, and will allow future interventions to make recommendations that may increase the health benefits of nut consumption. Keywords: obesity, nuts, dietary habits, African Americans, women, rural health

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