Online Program

Analysis of obesity phobia perceptions of youth in Kurdistan-Iraq

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 10:48 a.m. - 11:06 a.m.

Larry K. Olsen, DrPH, MCHES, School of Health Management, AT Still University, Las Cruces, NM
Mohammed Y. Hussain, PhD, Department of Applied Computing and Information Technology, University of Kurdistan-Hewler, Erbil, Iraq
Adriana Pena De La Cruz, BS, None, None, Las Cruces, NM
Mark Kittleson, PhD, Department of Public Health Sciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
The Region of Kurdistan-Iraq has inherited numerous social and health problems due to the devastation of conflicts and wars on the region over a considerable number of years. Obesity and the phobia perception among the population at large is at an alarming rate and continues to be a significant public health problem, especially among young adults. The purpose of this study was to determine the fat phobia perceptions and predictors thereof among selected youth in Kurdistan-Iraq. A 14 item semantic differential questionnaire (Fat Phobia [Bacon, Scheltema, & Robinson, 2001) was translated into Arabic and Kurdish and back translated to ensure content consistency and administered to nearly 1,900 youth in 31 middle schools in Hewler-Kurdistan (1322 girls 651 boys). Schools included girl or boy only schools, or coed schools Data were analyzed using statistical analysis software programs. Perceptions varied significantly by gender and item. Factor analysis was used to identify items contributing to phobia perception as well as to identify predictor factors. Predictor factors varied by type of school and gender of the respondents. Predictor variables included fast versus slow, self esteem level, endurance levels, self-indulgent versus self-sacrificing, and level of activity. The results of this study should be considered by those developing interventions to reduce the problem of obesity among youth in this region.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
Explain the precipitating factors that contribute to obesity phobias among Kurdistan-Iraqi youth. Describe differences in obesity phobia between male and female youth in Kurdistan-Iraq.

Keyword(s): Adolescents, International, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have presented research papers for over 40 years at professional meetings and have been engaged in international research for over 30 years involving youth health.
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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