270920 Association between Obesity and Depression Symptoms in Puerto Rican Adults

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jose Laborde, PHD , Economics Department, Social Science School at the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras Campus, San Juan, PR
Emily Saez-Santiago, PhD , Institute of Psychological Research, School of Social Sciences University of Puerto Rico, San Juanp, PR
Introduction: Obesity is a serious public health problem in the United States, as well as Puerto Rico. It has a higher prevalence in African American and Hispanic populations. In Puerto Rico 62.9% of the population is overweight, higher than 34 of the states and all of the other U.S. territories. Puerto Rico is an interesting population because it has mostly Latino population and a high poverty rate. This paper utilizes the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to evaluate the relationship between depression symptoms and obesity in Puerto Rican adults. Methodology: The 2006 wave of the BRFSS was utilized because this was last survey to include the Anxiety and Depression module (ADM) for Puerto Rico. Data for adults ages 18 to 65 was used for a final data set of 3,563 observations. Respondents who reported having more than 3 of the symptoms from the ADM for 14 days were grouped in two categories; one having at least 5 and another having at least 3. Logistic regression was utilized to evaluate the relation between weight status and depression symptoms. Results & Conclusions: In women the presence of five symptoms increased the likelihood of being morbidly obese. For men the presence of three symptoms was associated with being morbidly obese. In all groups a college education decreased the probability of being morbidly obese. It is clear that mental health symptoms have some effect on weight issues. Latino populations must be targeted when dealing with this public health problem.

Learning Areas:
Biostatistics, economics
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
Describe the adult obese and overweight population in Puerto Rico. Discuss the associations between weight status and depression symptoms.

Keywords: Obesity, Depression

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a health economists and a professor of Economics in the University of Puerto Rico. I have a Ph.D. in Economics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. I am the lead author of this paper.
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.