Original article| Volume 24, ISSUE 4, e447-e454, July 2014

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Obesity in Urban Women: Associations with Sleep and Sleepiness, Fatigue and Activity



      African-American women (AAW) have the highest prevalence of obesity and therefore are at greater risk for obesity-related symptoms and diseases. Obese individuals frequently report poorer sleep quality, more daytime sleepiness, more severe fatigue, and higher physical inactivity than normal weight individuals. The relationships among these variables have not been well-characterized in obese, urban-dwelling, AAW.


      This descriptive, correlational study examined the relationships among sleep quality, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, level of physical activity, and body mass index (BMI) in AAW living in an urban setting. A convenience sample of 69 young adult women with a BMI of greater than 30 kg/m2 completed measures of sleep quality, sleepiness, fatigue severity, sense of community, and physical activity. Further analysis was done to determine if any of the study variables predicted level of physical activity.


      There was a strong and significant correlation between BMI and overall fatigue severity and a significant, negative correlation between BMI and physical activity performance. BMI was significantly correlated with sleep latency but not global sleep quality. There were significant relationships between fatigue severity and poorer global sleep quality and daytime sleepiness. Multiple regression analysis showed BMI and age accounted for a significant amount of the variance in physical activity.


      Higher BMI was associated with significant fatigue. Fatigue severity was associated with poorer global sleep quality, daytime sleepiness, and a sense of community. Higher BMI may be a barrier to having an active lifestyle.
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      Patricia A. Jarosz is Associate Professor in the College of Nursing at Wayne State University with an interest in obesity research.


      Jean E. Davis is the Paul J. McKee Jr. senior associate dean for research in the Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College. She is a senior-level researcher in the field of non-invasive sleep interventions.


      Hossein N. Yarandi, PhD, is a professor in the office for Health Research at Wayne State University. His collaborative works have been published in Nursing, Pharmacy and Medical Journals.


      Rochelle Farkas, Edna Feingold, Sheila H. Shippings, Arlanda L. Smith, and Dorothy Williams were Wayne State University graduate students at the time this research was conducted.