Overweight, Medical Comorbidity and Health-related Quality of Life in a Community Sample of Women and Men

School of Biomedical & Health Science, University of Western Sydney, Campbelltown, New South Wales, Australia.
Obesity (Impact Factor: 4.39). 09/2009; 17(8):1627-34. DOI: 10.1038/oby.2009.27
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Associations among gender, overweight and obesity, medical comorbidity, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) were examined in a general population sample of 4,181 women and men aged 18-65 years. Anthropometric measurements and medical comorbidity were assessed as part of a computer-assisted physician interview. HRQoL was assessed with the Physical and Mental Component Summary scales of the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form (SF-36 PCS, MCS). General linear models were used to examine the associations among gender, weight status, medical comorbidity, and HRQoL. Controlling for age, social status, the occurrence of specific medical conditions, and the total number of medical conditions, mild obesity was associated with impairment in physical health functioning, as measured by the PCS, among women, whereas impairment in men's physical health was apparent only for moderate obesity. There was no association between weight status and psycho-social functioning, as measured by the MCS, in women, whereas overweight was associated with better perceived psycho-social functioning in men. The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that women suffer a disproportionately large share of the disease burden of overweight and obesity that is not due solely to differences in medical comorbidity. The possibility that aspects of emotional well-being may mediate the association between obesity and physical health functioning warrants further attention in this regard. The findings also indicate the need to stratify data by gender and to include more sensitive measures of psycho-social functioning in future studies.

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    ABSTRACT: Objective We examined the relative importance of physical health status, weight/shape concerns, and binge eating as mediators of the association between obesity and psychosocial impairment in a community sample of women and men.Method Self-report measures of eating disorder features, perceived physical health and psychosocial functioning were completed by a general population sample of women and men classified as obese or non-obese (women: obese=276, non-obese=1220; men: obese=169, non-obese=769). Moderated mediation analysis was used to assess the relative importance of each of the putative mediators in accounting for observed associations between obesity and each outcome measure and possible moderation of these effects by sex.ResultsWeight/shape concerns and physical health were equally strong mediators of the association between obesity and psychosocial impairment. This was the case for both men and women and for each of three measures of psychosocial functioning - general psychological distress, life satisfaction and social support - employed. The effects of binge eating were modest and reached statistical significance only for the life satisfaction measure in men.ConclusionA greater focus on body acceptance may be indicated in obesity prevention and weight-management programs.International Journal of Obesity accepted article preview online, 11 June 2014; doi:10.1038/ijo.2014.100.
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