252847 Adolescent weight loss intention and choices of health behavior: Helping or hurting their cause

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 4:50 PM

Clare Lenhart, MPH , Department of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Dawn Eichen, MA , Department of Psychology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Brian P. Daly, PhD , Department of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Judith E. Gold, ScD , Department of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Background The public health risk posed by adolescent obesity is well documented. However, an area that remains understudied is to what extent healthful weight modification strategies are employed among diverse, urban adolescents.

Methodology Weighted data represent 43,753 diverse, urban public high school students that completed the Fall 2010 Philadelphia Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). Of these students, 13.6% (5,944) are considered obese (BMI≥ 95th percentile). Health behaviors including recent smoking (past 30 days); physical activity (past week); daily soda consumption; and hours per day playing video games were compared between obese students trying and not trying to lose weight. Analyses included chi-square tests to inform prevalence ratio calculations.

Results The majority of obese students reported trying to lose weight (75.7%). These students are more likely to report recent smoking (PR=1.96; CI=1.54-2.50). Dietary behaviors suggest increased risk of daily soda consumption among these females (PR=2.54;CI= 1.91-3.41) but not males. Obese females trying to lose weight were more likely to report at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity (PR=1.40; CI=1.02-1.93). Conversely, obese males trying to lose weight were more likely to report zero days of activity (PR=3.31; CI=2.59-4.24) and over three hours of video game playing per day (PR=1.47; CI=1.33-1.61).

Conclusion The frequency of self-reported weight loss attempts among obese students suggests their interest in weight loss; however, results also reveal reliance on behaviors incompatible with weight loss. This evidence indicates a need for increased support for obese, urban adolescents interested in healthful weight loss.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Upon review of this poster, participants will be able to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy weight loss efforts reported by obese urban adolescents.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I oversee the collection of YRBS data at Temple University and analyzed the data for this study.
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.

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