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Psychological pathways explaining the prospective association between obesity and physiological dysregulation

Putra, I Gusti Ngurah Edi; Daly, Michael; Sutin, Angelina; Steptoe, Andrew; Robinson, Eric; (2023) Psychological pathways explaining the prospective association between obesity and physiological dysregulation. Health Psychology , 42 (7) pp. 472-484. 10.1037/hea0001284. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Obesity is associated with a range of negative psychological conditions that may also affect physiological health. Across two studies, we tested whether a range of psychological measures explain why obesity is prospectively associated with physiological dysregulation, measured via clinical indicators of cardiovascular, immune system, and metabolic function. METHOD: We used comparable 4-year follow-up representative longitudinal data of U.K. and U.S. older adults (≥50 years) from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (2008/2009-2012/2013; Study 1; n = 6,250) and the Health and Retirement Study (2008/2010-2012/2014; Study 2; n = 9,664). A diverse range of psychological measures (e.g., depressive symptoms, life satisfaction, weight stigma, positive affect) were tested as candidate mediators in Studies 1 (n = 14) and 2 (n = 21). RESULTS: Obesity predicted physiological dysregulation at follow-up across both studies. In Study 1, only weight stigma (measured between baseline and follow-up) explained 37% of the association between obesity and physiological dysregulation. In Study 2, only changes in weight stigma from baseline to follow-up (not baseline weight stigma) explained 13% of the effect of obesity on future physiological dysregulation. Mediation by weight stigma in both studies was partially attenuated when changes in body mass index from baseline to follow-up were controlled for. No other psychological measures explained the association between obesity and physiological dysregulation in either study. CONCLUSIONS: The prospective association between obesity and physiological dysregulation was largely not explained by psychological factors. However, experiencing weight stigma is associated with increased weight gain and this process may explain obesity-related declines in physiological health. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

Type: Article
Title: Psychological pathways explaining the prospective association between obesity and physiological dysregulation
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1037/hea0001284
Publisher version: ttps://doi.org/10.1037/hea0001284
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0). This license permits copying and redistributing the work in any medium or format, as well as adapting the material for any purpose, even commercially.
Keywords: Obesity, psychological well-being, weight discrimination, physiological health, biomarkers
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10172328
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