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Obesity, perceived weight discrimination, and psychological well-being in older adults in England

Jackson, SE; Beeken, RJ; Wardle, J; (2015) Obesity, perceived weight discrimination, and psychological well-being in older adults in England. Obesity (Silver Spring) , 23 (5) pp. 1105-1111. 10.1002/oby.21052. Green open access

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Abstract

Objective To examine whether the adverse effect of obesity on psychological well-being can be explained by weight discrimination. Methods The study sample included 5056 older (≥50 y) men and women living in England and participating in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Participants reported experiences of weight discrimination in everyday life and completed measures of quality of life (CASP-19 scale), life satisfaction (Satisfaction With Life Scale), and depressive symptoms (eight-item CES-D scale). Height and weight were objectively measured, with obesity defined as BMI ≥30 kg/m2. Mediation analyses were used to test the role of perceived weight discrimination in the relationship between obesity and each psychological factor. Results Obesity, weight discrimination, and psychological well-being were all significantly inter-related. Mediation models revealed significant indirect effects of obesity through perceived weight discrimination on quality of life (β = −0.072, SE = 0.008), life satisfaction (β = −0.038, SE = 0.008), and depressive symptoms (β = 0.057, SE = 0.008), with perceived weight discrimination explaining approximately 40% (range: 39.5-44.1%) of the total association between obesity and psychological well-being. Conclusions Perceived weight discrimination explains a substantial proportion of the association between obesity and psychological well-being in English older adults. Efforts to reduce weight stigma in society could help to reduce the psychological burden of obesity.

Type: Article
Title: Obesity, perceived weight discrimination, and psychological well-being in older adults in England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/oby.21052
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/oby.21052
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Obesity published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Obesity Society (TOS).This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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
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/1464272
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