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Income Predicts Receipt of Weight-Loss Advice

Findings in overweight, obese adults in cohort, including low-income, racial/ethnic minority adults

MONDAY, Oct. 17, 2016 (HealthDay News) — For overweight or obese individuals, income predicts receipt of weight-loss advice from health care providers, according to a study published in the Oct. 6 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Preventing Chronic Disease.

Cori Lorts, M.P.H., R.D., and Punam Ohri-Vachaspati, Ph.D., R.D., from the Arizona State University in Phoenix, describe determinants of receiving weight-loss advice in a cohort with a high proportion of low-income, racial/ethnic minority individuals. Data were included for 1,109 overweight or obese adults in five cities in New Jersey.

The researchers found that 35 percent of respondents received advice to lose weight. In multivariate analysis, receiving advice was significantly associated with income. Those with an income within 200 to 399 percent versus at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) had 1.60 increased odds of receiving advice (P = 0.02); the odds of receiving advice were 1.73 higher for those with an income of 400 percent or more of the FPL (P = 0.03). After adjustment for health insurance the strength of the association did not change.

“Further work is needed to examine why disparities exist in who receives weight-loss advice,” the authors write. “Health care providers should provide weight-loss advice to all patients, regardless of income.”

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