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Obesity and self-reported general health, Hawaii BRFSS: are Polynesians at higher risk?

TitleObesity and self-reported general health, Hawaii BRFSS: are Polynesians at higher risk?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsOchner, MH, Salvail, FR, Ford, ES, Ajani, U
JournalObesity (Silver Spring)Obesity (Silver Spring)
Date PublishedApr
ISBN Number1930-7381 (Print)<br/>1930-7381 (Linking)
Accession Number18239584
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Aged, Female, Hawaii/epidemiology, Health Status, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Obesity/ ethnology, Oceanic Ancestry Group/ statistics & numerical data, Overweight/ ethnology, Risk Factors
AbstractOBJECTIVE: This study compared the relationship between fair/poor general health status among overweight and obese Polynesians with that among other overweight and obese persons in Hawaii. METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Data were pooled from the 1998-2003 Hawaii Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and logistic regression used to examine the predictors of fair/poor health status. RESULTS: Polynesians were significantly more likely to be obese than non-Polynesians; overweight Polynesians were more likely than other overweight individuals to report fair/poor health status. After adjusting for confounders, among Polynesians, being obese was no longer associated with fair/poor health. Non-Polynesians who were obese (odds ratio 1.9; 95% confidence interval: 1.4-2.6), older, less educated, smokers, diabetic, hypertensive, and physically inactive were more likely to report fair/poor health. DISCUSSION: Although Polynesians were significantly more obese than the rest of the Hawaii population, their weight was not independently associated with their odds for fair/poor health as it was with non-Polynesians. The difference may be that, for Polynesians, hypertension and diabetes overrode the effect of obesity on general health status or this group maintains different cultural perceptions of body size. Regardless, these findings show a major health risk among Polynesians and suggest the need for culturally specific health interventions.