159506 Prevalence of obesity in Newark adults 18 years and older: Using state and national data

Monday, November 5, 2007: 3:20 PM

M. Springer, MPH , Newark Department of Health and Human Services, Newark, NJ
P. A. Thomas, MD , New Jersey Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ
K. J. O'Dowd, MS, PhD , Center for Health Statistics, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Trenton, NJ
M. McGowan, MPH, MA, HO , Newark Department of Health and Human Services, Newark, NJ
W. E Halperin, MD, MPH DrPH , New Jersey Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ
Background: In order to effectively combat the obesity epidemic, local area information is essential for local intervention. Newark, NJ, an ethnically very diverse city (in 2005, 51% black, 33%Hispanic, 13% White, 46% male) with high rate of poverty, is examining its public health priorities including obesity prevention.

Objective: To describe the prevalence of obesity in Newark, NJ, among various ethnic and gender groups.

Methods: Comparison of obesity prevalence reported in state (NJBRFS) and national surveys (NHANES, NHIS, BRFSS). Newark prevalence is derived from combined 2003-2005 NJBRFS on Newark residents.

Results: Based on Newark's combined samples (N=888), the overall prevalence of obesity (34.1%, 95% CL 29.9-38.6) was similar to NHANES (32.2%), greater than NHIS (24.7%) and NJBRFS (22.1%), less than BRFSS (24.4%). In Newark, Blacks (42%, 95%CL 35.9-48.3) and women (37.5%, 95%CL 32.4-42.9) were more obese. When stratified by race/ethnicity and gender, black women were most obese (46.6%, 95%CL 39.9-53.4). Obesity appears more prevalent in Newark but due to small sample, Newark's estimates have wide confidence intervals.

Conclusions: Obesity is reported in 34% of Newark residents as compared with 22% for NJ. Newark data remain too sparse to allow comparison of prevalence of obesity among specific segments of Newark's population, or to track trends over time. Because obesity is a major risk factor for morbidity and mortality, and requires public health intervention, adequate local data for urban areas such as Newark are urgently needed.

Learning Objectives:
1. Understanding nationally available data 2. Understanding the limits of small sample size when evaluating local data 3. Understanding the epidemiology of obesity in an urban setting

Keywords: Obesity, Urban Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.