Obesity, Disability and Self-Perceived Health Outcomes in Australian Adults: A Longitudinal Analysis Using 14 Annual Waves of the HILDA Cohort

Author:- Syed Afroz Keramat, Khorshed Alam, Bright Opoku Ahinkorah, Md Sariful Islam, Md Irteja Islam, Md Zobayer Hossain, Sazia Ahmed, Jeff Gow, and Stuart J H Biddle
Category:- Journal; Year:- 2021
Discipline:- Development Studies Discipline
School:- Social Science School


Both obesity and disability have been widely recognised as major public health challenges because they play significant roles in determining self-perceived general and mental health. Longitudinal studies of the relationship between obesity and disability with self-reported health outcomes are scarce. Therefore, the objective of the present study is to examine the relationship between obesity and disability with self-perceived general and mental health among Australian adults aged 15 years and above. Data were extracted from the most recent 14 waves (waves 6 through 19) of the annual individual person dataset of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey. The longitudinal random-effects logistic regression model was adopted to investigate the relationships between obesity and disability with self-reported health outcomes. The results revealed that obese individuals and adults with some form of disability are more likely to report poor or fair general and mental health. The odds of self-reporting poor or fair general health were 2.40 and 6.07 times higher among obese (aOR: 2.40, 95% CI: 2.22–2.58) and adults with some form of disability (aOR: 6.07, 95% CI: 5.77–6.39), respectively, relative to adults with healthy weight and those without disability . The results also showed that self-rated poor or fair mental health were 1.22 and 2.40 times higher among obese adults (aOR: 1.22, 95% CI: 1.15–1.30) and adults with disability (aOR: 2.40, 95% CI: 2.30–2.51), respectively, compared to their healthy weight peers and peers without disability. As governmental and non-governmental organisations seek to improve the community’s physical and mental well-being, these organisations need to pay particular attention to routine health care prevention, specific interventions, and treatment practices, especially for obese and/or people with disabilities.

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