249947 Financial strain and obesity among men: The role of race and SES

Monday, October 31, 2011

Vicki Johnson-Lawrence, MS, PhD , Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Derek M. Griffith, PhD , School of Public Health, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Katie Gunter, MPH, MSW , School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Harold W. Neighbors, PhD , Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Over the last three decades, the increase in the prevalence of obesity across gender, age, socioeconomic status, and racial and ethnic groups has continued to garner attention and concern. Various and inconsistent findings have been reported on differences between BMI and obesity among black and non-black men. These inconsistent findings prompt further questions as to the current picture of BMI and obesity among US men, given the current and historical differences in social and economic contexts for black and white men. Few national studies, however, have empirically examined racial differences in obesity among men, or if financial stress increases men's odds of being obese. This paper explores the relationship between provider role strain and obesity in a nationally-representative sample of men. This article highlights role strain as a theoretical framework that describes the personal and social coping strategies men use to manage and mitigate social, cultural, life stage, and economic stressors that influence health behaviors and health outcomes. We compare overall odds of obesity, as well as differences between black and white men, while examining the effects of financial stress using The National Survey of American Life. Our findings indicate that while a greater proportion of white males were likely to be obese than black men, when we considered financial stress black men were more likely to be obese. The implications of these findings are discussed within the overall context of rates of obesity, high rates of chronic illnesses, and premature mortality among Black American men.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
To demonstrate racial/ethnic differences in the effects of role strain among different aged men in the National Survey of American Life

Keywords: Roles, Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I work with program specifically interested in the health disparities that occur due to age and race/ethnicity.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.