Disparities in who receives doctor's advice to lose weight: Does income make a difference?
Methods: Data were collected using a household phone survey with adults responsible for food shopping in five New Jersey cities in 2009-10. Analyses presented are limited to OW/OB participants (n=1,117). Multivariate logistic regression analysis determined the association of participants’ characteristics with receiving doctor’s advice to lose weight.
Results: Receiving doctor’s advice was significantly associated with income, calculated as a ratio of the federal poverty level (FPL). Compared to an income below 100% FPL, those within 100-200% FPL had 1.9 times higher odds of receiving advice (p=0.009), 200-400% FPL had 2.3 times higher odds of receiving advice (p=0.003), and incomes over 400% FPL had 3.22 times higher odds of receiving advice (p<0.001).
OW/OB individuals with diabetes and/or asthma had significantly higher odds of receiving weight loss advice (p=0.019 and p=0.009, respectively).
Although individuals with income under 100% FPL were least likely to receive advice, they had the highest rate of asthma, at 19.7%, and of diabetes, at 19.9%.
Conclusion: While those with higher health risk were more likely to receive weight loss advice, individuals with the lowest income were least likely to receive advice—even though they had the highest rates of diabetes and asthma. Interventions in medical practices for OW/OB adults should promote weight loss advice to all individuals, regardless of income.
Learning Areas:Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Explain the association of a patient’s income with receiving doctor’s advice to lose weight. Describe the association of diabetes and asthma with receiving doctor’s advice to lose weight.
Keyword(s): Health Disparities/Inequities, Health Care Delivery
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the analysis of this project as part of my research work as a doctoral student at Arizona State University. My previous work experience includes health communication and the healthcare environment.
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.