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Trends in demographic, health behaviour factors, and self-perceived weight status : influences on obesity in Australia from 1995 to 2005

Lee, Yi-Chen (2009) Trends in demographic, health behaviour factors, and self-perceived weight status : influences on obesity in Australia from 1995 to 2005. Professional Doctorate thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

Overweight and obesity are two of the most important emerging public health issues in our time and regarded by the World Health Organisation [WHO] (1998) as a worldwide epidemic. The prevalence of obesity in the USA is the highest in the world, and Australian obesity rates fall into second place. Currently, about 60% of Australian adults are overweight (BMI „d 25kg/m2). The socio-demographic factors associated with overweight and/or obesity have been well demonstrated, but many of the existing studies only examined these relationships at one point of time, and did not examine whether significant relationships changed over time. Furthermore, only limited previous research has examined the issue of the relationship between perception of weight status and actual weight status, as well as factors that may impact on people¡¦s perception of their body weight status. Aims: The aims of the proposed research are to analyse the discrepancy between perceptions of weight status and actual weight status in Australian adults; to examine if there are trends in perceptions of weight status in adults between 1995 to 2004/5; and to propose a range of health promotion strategies and furth er research that may be useful in managing physical activity, healthy diet, and weight reduction. Hypotheses: Four alternate hypotheses are examined by the research: (1) there are associations between independent variables (e.g. socio -demographic factors, physical activity and dietary habits) and overweight and/or obesity; (2) there are associations between the same independent variables and the perception of overweight; (3) there are associations between the same independent variables and the discrepancy between weight status and perception of weight status; and (4) there are trends in overweight and/or obesity, perception of overweight, and the discrepancy in Australian adults from 1995 to 2004/5. Conceptual Framework and Methods: A conceptual framework is developed that shows the associations identified among socio -demographic factors, physical activity and dietary habits with actual weight status, as well as examining perception of weight status. The three latest National Health Survey data bases (1995 , 2001 and 2004/5) were used as the primary data sources. A total of 74,114 Australian adults aged 20 years and over were recruited from these databases. Descriptive statistics, bivariate analyses (One -Way ANOVA tests, unpaired t-tests and Pearson chi-square tests), and multinomial logistic regression modelling were used to analyse the data. Findings: This research reveals that gender, main language spoken at home, occupation status, household structure, private health insurance status, and exercise are related to the discrepancy between actual weight status and perception of weight status, but only gender and exercise are related to the discrepancy across the three time point s. The current research provides more knowledge about perception of weight status independently. Factors which affect perception of overweight are gender, age, language spoken at home, private health insurance status, and diet ary habits. The study also finds that many factors that impact overweight and/or obesity also have an effect on perception of overweight, such as age, language spoken at home, household structure, and exercise. However, some factors (i.e. private health insurance status and milk consumption) only impact on perception of overweight. Furthermore, factors that are rel ated to people’s overweight are not totally related to people’s underestimation of their body weight status in the study results. Thus, there are unknown factors which can affect people’s underestimation of their body weight status. Conclusions: Health promotion and education activities should provide education about population health education and promotion and education for particular at risk sub -groups. Further research should take the form of a longitudinal study design ed to examine the causal relationship between overweight and/or obesity and underestimation of body weight status, it should also place more attention on the relationships between overweight and/or obesity and dietary habits, with a more comprehensive representation of SES. Moreover, further research that deals with identification of characteristics about perception of weight status, in particular the underestimation of body weight status should be undertaken.

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ID Code: 29883
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Supervisor: Fleming, MaryLou& Anderson, Peter
Keywords: overweight, obesity, perception of weight status
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 21 Jan 2010 14:06
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2011 05:54

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