Introduction Obesity is a growing problem in the U.S., particularly among ethnic minorities. It is a multi-factorial process involving genetic, environmental, metabolic, and behavioral factors. Effects of obesity on quality-of-life also contribute to the propagation of this disorder. We investigated the perception of obesity's impact on quality-of-life in Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Whites.
Methods 91 subjects, 41 Hispanics and 50 NHW, with a Body-Mass Index (BMI) of ≥30 were studied using the Obesity and Weight-Loss Quality-of-Life (OWLQOL) survey. Gender, age, and diabetes status were also obtained. The lower the score, the more weight negatively impacts perceived quality of life.
Results While women scored lower than men, no sex specific ethnic differences were seen. Diabetic status did not affect scores. Hispanics 45 years and younger had significantly lower scores compared to Hispanics older than 45 years (p=0.024). A complete sample, age-related score increase was not significant until age 55. (Table)
Conclusions Young Hispanics felt that weight negatively impacted their life more than young non Hispanic Whites with comparable BMIs. There appears to be an age related or generational perception change resulting in older Hispanics being less affected by obesity than non Hispanic Whites. Thus, behavioral interventions may have less of an impact on non Hispanic Whites and older Hispanics. However, specific behavioral intervention studies are needed to investigate this further.
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