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Obesity as a Predictor of Self-rated Health

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Objective : To report on the relationship between self-rated health and obesity.

Methods : Computer-assisted telephone survey of 5001 randomly selected individuals aged 18 years and over residing in California and Texas.

Results : Obese individuals have a 3-fold greater odds of reporting reduced health. After controlling for the effect of demographic factors, health care utilization, chronic disease, and lifestyle behaviors, this relationship persists (OR:2.33; 95 CI: 1.7, 3.2).

Conclusion : Results suggest that obesity is a statistically significant predictor of reduced self-rated health. Directly affecting change in people's self-rating of health would be difficult; however, addressing its correlates, such as obesity, may improve self-rated health status over time.

Keywords: chronic disease; health care utilization; lifestyle behaviors; obesity; self-rated health

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1 Research Analyst, Department of Community Health, St Joseph Health System, Orange, CA.

Publication date: May 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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