Obesity, Overweightness, and Depressive Symptomology Among American Indian Youth
- 98 Downloads
Despite evidence that American Indian adolescents are at a heightened risk of obesity/overweightness and experiencing depression, relative to other groups, there exists a dearth of studies that have examined the association between objective and perceptual measures of obesity and overweightness and depression with this understudied group. Our study represents one of the first studies to examine this association among American Indian youth.
Using a subsample of American Indian youth from waves I and II of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (a survey of schools and students in the USA, with wave I collected in 1994 and wave II collected in 1995), we explore this association. We examine three measures of weight: obesity, body mass index, and weight perception. We also consider gender-specific models and a subsample of non-Hispanic whites, in order to assess race differences in the obesity and overweightness-depression relationship.
Our findings reveal that neither of our objective measures of weight, obesity, nor body mass index are significant predictors of depressive symptoms for either American Indian or white youth. However, we find evidence that the subjective measure of weight perception is a significant predictor of depressive symptoms for white females, but not for American Indian females.
Our results contribute to past findings that measures of obesity/overweightness weight may be more important to white female’s mental health than females from other racial groups, although additional research is warranted.
KeywordsObesity and overweightness Depression American Indian mental health Racial disparities in health
Compliance with Ethical Standards
For this type of study, formal consent is not required. However, we did receive approval from our university’s Institutional Review Board. See also the Add Health website for more information on the original collection of data from human subjects, including informed consent (http://www.cpc.unc.edu/addhealth).
- 1.Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Fryar CD, Flegal KM. Prevalence of obesity among adults and youth: United States, 2011–2014. NCHS data brief, no 219. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics 2015.Google Scholar
- 2.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The surgeon general’s call to action to prevent and decrease overweight and obesity. US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service 2001.Google Scholar
- 3.Karnik S, Kanekar A. Childhood obesity: a global public health crisis. Int J Prev Med. 2012;3:1–7.Google Scholar
- 4.World Health Organization The world health report 2002: reducing risks, promoting healthy life. World Health Organization 2002.Google Scholar
- 5.Jensen MD, Ryan DH, Apovian CM et al. 2013 AHA/ACC/TOS guideline for the management of overweight and obesity in adults. https://doi.org/10.1161/01.cir.0000437739.71477.ee. Published June 24, 2014. Accessed 22 Jan 2018.
- 22.Assari S. The link between mental health and obesity: role of individual and contextual factors. Int J Prev Med. 2014;5:247–9.Google Scholar
- 30.Istvan J, Zavela K, Weidner G. Body weight and psychological distress in NHANES I. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1992;16(12):999–1003.Google Scholar
- 40.DeLong AJ, Larson NI, Story M, Neumark-Sztainer D, Weber-Main AM, Ireland M. Factors associated with overweight among urban American Indian adolescents: findings from project eat. Ethn Dis. 2008;18(3):317–23.Google Scholar
- 46.Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Suicide among racial/ethnic populations in the U.S.: American Indians/Alaskan Natives. Waltham: Education Development Center, Inc.; 2013.Google Scholar
- 48.Novins DK, Beals J, Roberts RE, Manson SM. Factors associated with suicide ideation among American Indian adolescents: does culture matter? Suicide Life Threat Behav. 1999;29(4):332–46.Google Scholar
- 50.Gray WN, Crawford MJ, Follansbee-Junger K, Dumont-Driscoll MC, et al. Associations between actual and perceived weight and psychosocial functioning in children: the importance of child perceptions. Childhood. 2012;8(2):147–54.Google Scholar
- 53.Davis SM, Lambert LC. Body image and weight concerns among Southwestern American Indian preadolescent schoolchildren. Ethn Dis. 1999;10(2):184–94.Google Scholar
- 58.Harris KM, Halpern CT, Whitsel E, Hussey et al. The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health: research design. 2009; University of North Carolina, Carolina Population Center.Google Scholar
- 59.Centers for Disease Control. Clinical growth charts. 2000. Retrieved March 20, 2015 from http://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/clinical_charts.htm.
- 63.Chantala K. Guidelines for analyzing add health data. Carolina Population Center 2006.Google Scholar
- 65.Norris T, Vines PL, Hoeffel EM. The American Indian and Alaska Native Population: 2010. 2012; US Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, US Census Bureau.Google Scholar