Relationship between severity of obesity and mental health: an Australian community survey

Knoesen, Natalie P., Mancuso, Serafino G., Thomas, Samantha, Komesaroff, Paul, Lewis, Sophie and Castle, David J. 2012, Relationship between severity of obesity and mental health: an Australian community survey, Asia-Pacific psychiatry, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 67-75, doi: 10.1111/j.1758-5872.2011.00164.x.

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Title Relationship between severity of obesity and mental health: an Australian community survey
Author(s) Knoesen, Natalie P.
Mancuso, Serafino G.
Thomas, SamanthaORCID iD for Thomas, Samantha orcid.org/0000-0003-1427-7775
Komesaroff, Paul
Lewis, Sophie
Castle, David J.
Journal name Asia-Pacific psychiatry
Volume number 4
Issue number 1
Start page 67
End page 75
Total pages 9
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2012-03
ISSN 1758-5864
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Psychiatry
PSYCHIATRY, SCI
PSYCHIATRY, SSCI
anxiety symptom
depressive symptom
mental health
obesity
physical health
QUALITY-OF-LIFE
PERCEIVED SOCIAL SUPPORT
MULTIDIMENSIONAL SCALE
PSYCHIATRIC-DISORDERS
DEPRESSION
POPULATION
OVERWEIGHT
ASSOCIATION
WEIGHT
FAT
Summary Introduction
In Australia the incidence of obesity is increasing rapidly and has become a significant public health concern. In addition to the many physical consequences of obesity many studies have reported significant mental health consequences, including major depression, mood and anxiety disorders. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between severity of obesity and perceived mental health in an Australian community sample.

Methods
A cross-sectional survey design was used. A total of 118 participants, aged between 19 and 75 years with a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg/m2 returned a completed questionnaire. The SF-36 Health Survey, Kessler Psychological Distress Scale, Social Interaction Anxiety Scale and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support were used.

Results
After adjusting for age, gender, perceived social support and physical health quality of life, obesity was not significantly associated with mental health quality of life (SF-36). The strongest factor influencing mental health was perceived physical health. Mediation analyses suggest that physical health mediates the relationship between obesity and mental health quality of life.

Discussion
Our findings support the view that physical health mediates the relationship between obesity and mental health. Public health interventions should focus on reducing the impact of obesity on physical health by encouraging participation in healthy lifestyles, which in turn, may improve mental wellbeing.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1758-5872.2011.00164.x
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2012, Blackwell Publishing Asia
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30079253

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Health and Social Development
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