Disparities in Obesity, Physical Activity Rates, and Breast Cancer Survival

M. E. Ford, G. Magwood, E. T. Brown, K. Cannady, M. Gregoski, K. D. Knight, L. L. Peterson, R. Kramer, A. Evans-Knowell, D. P. Turner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The significantly higher breast cancer (BCa) mortality rates of African-American (AA) women compared to non-Hispanic (NHW) white women constitute a major US health disparity. Investigations have primarily focused on biological differences in tumors to explain more aggressive forms of BCa in AA women. The biology of tumors cannot be modified, yet lifestyle changes can mitigate their progression and recurrence. AA communities have higher percentages of obesity than NHWs and exhibit inefficient access to care, low socioeconomic status, and reduced education levels. Such factors are associated with limited healthy food options and sedentary activity. AA women have the highest prevalence of obesity than any other racial/ethnic/gender group in the United States. The social ecological model (SEM) is a conceptual framework on which interventions could be developed to reduce obesity. The SEM includes intrapersonal factors, interpersonal factors, organizational relationships, and community/institutional policies that are more effective in behavior modification than isolation from the participants’ environmental context. Implementation of SEM-based interventions in AA communities could positively modify lifestyle behaviors, which could also serve as a powerful tool in reducing risk of BCa, BCa progression, and BCa recurrence in populations of AA women.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Cancer Research
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages28
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

Publication series

NameAdvances in Cancer Research
ISSN (Print)0065-230X


  • Behavioral interventions
  • Breast cancer
  • Health disparity
  • Lifestyle modification
  • Obesity


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