Racial Differences in Obese Youth's Perception of Health Care and Weight Loss

Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.
Clinical Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 1.15). 01/2011; 50(1):14-6. DOI: 10.1177/0009922810374976
Source: PubMed


Within the United States, minority youth are at greater risk of becoming overweight/obese and are less likely to receive preventive health care. The authors examined several domains of preventive health care perceptions among persistently overweight/obese white and black adolescents. A total of 55 youth (29 white, 26 black) who had previously sought weight management treatment participated in a follow-up study 4 years later (M (years) = 4.2 ± 0.8). All participants remained overweight (5% at the 85th- 94th BMI percentiles) or obese (95% ≥ 95th BMI percentile), with no significant difference in weight by race. Relative to whites, blacks perceived greater physician concern about and counseling regarding weight (P (concern) < .01; P (counsel) < .01), eating habits(P (concern) < .001; P (counsel) < .01), and physical activity (P (concern) < .001; P (counsel) < .05). Although whites reported knowing more weight-related comorbidities than blacks, there were no group differences in number of weight loss methods attempted (M (methods) = 7.5 ± 2.7). Overall, there were no group differences in perceptions of risk. Physicians may be appropriately focusing efforts on educating black youth, but knowledge and behavior gaps persist.

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