Research Article| Volume 54, ISSUE 10, P916-924, October 2022

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Perceptions of Health Among Black Women in Emerging Adulthood: Alignment With a Health at Every Size Perspective

Published:August 30, 2022DOI:



      To explore the health perceptions of Black women in emerging adulthood and the degree to which perceptions align with core Health at Every Size (HAES) principles.


      Semistructured interviews with Black women in emerging adulthood. Data were collected between June and July 2018 as part of a larger, mixed-methods study.


      Southern California.


      Forty-one Black women aged 18–24 years were recruited via a combination of convenience and respondent-drive sampling.

      Phenomenon of Interest

      Health perceptions of young Black women and alignment with core HAES principles.


      Data were analyzed using principles of inductive thematic analysis. Following analysis, data were further interpreted within the HAES framework.


      Participants’ insights resulted in 3 main themes: (1) health is multidimensional, (2) good health means taking care of yourself, and (3) systemic and environmental disparities affect Black women's health. These themes reflect 3 HAES principles of health enhancement, weight inclusivity, and eating for well-being.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Findings provide preliminary support for aligning HAES principles and perceptions and health for Black women in emerging adulthood. Prioritizing holistic well-being, attention to individualized health needs and access to needed information and resources in efforts to improve health outcomes among members of this demographic may be promising.

      Key Words

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      Linked Article

      • Making sure to keep the person in personalized nutrition
        Journal of Nutrition Education and BehaviorVol. 54Issue 10
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          Personalized nutrition focuses on the concept that individuals may respond very differently to foods and may require different dietary patterns to achieve the best health. Personalized or precision nutrition falls under the umbrella of personalized medicine, a medical model that calls for medical practices, interventions, and products to be customized to the individual based on their risk of disease. Personalized medicine relies upon an individual's genetic profile to identify the most appropriate path forward for disease prevention and treatment.
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