Beyond BMI - Are Weight Loss Programs the Best Way to Improve the Health of African American Women?

Activity Details
  • Credit Amounts:
    • CNE: 1.20
    • CPH: 1.00
    • UNTHSC: 1.00
    • Physicians: 1.00
  • Cost: Free
  • Release: Aug 14, 2017
  • Expires: Aug 14, 2019
  • Estimated Time to Complete:
    1 Hour(s)
  • System Requirements:
  • Average User Rating:
    (4 Ratings)


Leilani Dodgen Leilani Dodgen, MPH, CHES
Graduate Research Assistant
Department of Health Behavior and Health Systems,
UNT Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas

Needs Statement

Maintaining a healthy weight is often cited as one of the most important factors in preventing chronic disease.  Current research reveals that prevention of chronic disease is a complex issue and the social determinants of health are also an important factor. This presentation offers some arguments for redirecting interventions for African American women away from BMI change (via weight loss) and toward more holistic health approaches that encompass social determinants of health across the social ecological framework.  A focus on weight loss to change BMI has not been effective at sustaining weight loss over time.  In addition, the promotion of changing BMI alone neglects other important contributors to weight including muscle mass, nutrition intake, cardiorespiratory fitness, identity, poverty and other social issues that make weight loss complex.  There are alternative approaches that focus on overall health that could be more beneficial and sustainable for women.  This presentation suggests some alternative approaches to improve health of African American women here.

Target Audience

This activity was planned to address the educational needs of physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, and public health professionals.


• Review health disparities among African American women
• Identify short-comings of using BMI as a primary measure and motivator of health for African American women
• Present 2-3 alternative ideas aside from weight loss to assist African American women in improving their health



UNT Health Science Center is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider # 16274. This activity is approved for 1.20 Contact Hours.


This activity is approved for 1.00 credit(s) accepted by the National Board of Public Health Examiners' Certified Public Health (CPH) recertification program.

The University of North Texas Health Science Center certifies this activity for 1.00 hour of participation.


The University of North Texas Health Science Center is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association to award continuing medical education to physicians.

The University of North Texas Health Science Center has requested that the AOA Council on Continuing Medical Education approve this program for 1.00 hour of AOA Category 2B CME credits. Approval is currently pending.

The University of North Texas Health Science Center is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of North Texas Health Science Center designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The University of North Texas Health Science Center presents this activity for educational purposes only. Participants are expected to utilize their own expertise and judgment while engaged in the practice of medicine. The content of the presentations is provided solely by presenters who have been selected for presentations because of recognized expertise in their field.

ACGME Competencies

  • Medical knowledge

IOM Competencies

  • Work in interdisciplinary teams
  • Employ evidence-based practice

Faculty Disclosure

Ms. Leilani Dodgen has nothing to disclose. The UNT Health Science Center Professional and Continuing Education staff have nothing to disclose.