Milken Institute School of Public Health Poster Presentations (Marvin Center & Video)

Title

Examining Race, Weight, and Mental Health Among Young Adults

Poster Number

100

Document Type

Poster

Status

Graduate Student - Masters

Abstract Category

Prevention and Community Health

Keywords

obesity, young adults, mental health, overweight

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Abstract

Background: With the growing obesity epidemic, young adulthood is a high risk period for weight gain and obesity. In the U.S., approximately one-third of young adults are obese and at risk for weight gain. Recent studies suggest depressed young adults are at a higher risk for the development and persistence of obesity. Research suggests that demographic factors moderate the relationship between obesity and mental health. Weight stigmatization is also a common perception that is related to negative health outcomes for overweight and obese individuals including anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and body dissatisfaction. A personal fear of being stigmatized can prevent young adults from seeking mental health services and is linked to decreased rates of self-reporting a mental health diagnosis, adherence to psychotropic medications, and therapy. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship among self-disclosure of diagnosis and treatment for mental health. The primary research questions are: 1) how does weight status relate to the prevalence of mental health diagnoses; 2) what is the concurrence between self-report of mental health diagnoses and self-report of psychotropic medications. Two supplemental research questions include: how both of the above vary by sociodemographic characteristics (i.e. race/ethnicity, sex, age). Methods: We will conduct data analysis from the online screening questionnaire of the Healthy Body Healthy U study. Data referring to mental health history, psychotropic medication, as well as demographic information will be analyzed using SPSS software.

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Examining Race, Weight, and Mental Health Among Young Adults

Background: With the growing obesity epidemic, young adulthood is a high risk period for weight gain and obesity. In the U.S., approximately one-third of young adults are obese and at risk for weight gain. Recent studies suggest depressed young adults are at a higher risk for the development and persistence of obesity. Research suggests that demographic factors moderate the relationship between obesity and mental health. Weight stigmatization is also a common perception that is related to negative health outcomes for overweight and obese individuals including anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and body dissatisfaction. A personal fear of being stigmatized can prevent young adults from seeking mental health services and is linked to decreased rates of self-reporting a mental health diagnosis, adherence to psychotropic medications, and therapy. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship among self-disclosure of diagnosis and treatment for mental health. The primary research questions are: 1) how does weight status relate to the prevalence of mental health diagnoses; 2) what is the concurrence between self-report of mental health diagnoses and self-report of psychotropic medications. Two supplemental research questions include: how both of the above vary by sociodemographic characteristics (i.e. race/ethnicity, sex, age). Methods: We will conduct data analysis from the online screening questionnaire of the Healthy Body Healthy U study. Data referring to mental health history, psychotropic medication, as well as demographic information will be analyzed using SPSS software.