TITLE

Effects of socioeconomic status on the obesity knowledge of adolescents from six Latin American cities

AUTHOR(S)
McArthur, L; Peña, M; Holbert, D
PUB. DATE
August 2001
SOURCE
International Journal of Obesity & Related Metabolic Disorders;Aug2001, Vol. 25 Issue 8, p1262
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of socioeconomic status (SES) on the obesity knowledge of adolescents in six Latin American cities. DESIGN: Data were collected using an anonymous, self-administered questionnaire consisting of demographic questions and a 25-item multiple-choice obesity knowledge test. Test items were clustered under five topics: the fat and calorie content of foods and beverages; weight loss methods; energy expenditure; food preparation methods; and the relationship between obesity and health. SUBJECTS: A total of 1272 ninth grade students from higher and lower SES families were recruited at schools in Buenos Aires, Argentina (n = 195); Guatemala City, Guatemala (n = 212); Havana, Cuba (n = 213); Lima, Peru (n = 218); Panama City, Panama (n = 195); and Santiago, Chile (n = 239). RESULTS: Mean test scores reflected a low level of obesity knowledge among adolescents from higher and lower SES groups in all six cities. Nevertheless, a trend for higher scores emerged in favor of adolescents from wealthier families. This income effect persisted after controlling for gender and weight status. The weakest knowledge areas among youth from the higher SES groups were food preparation methods and the relationship between obesity and health while those for adolescents from the lower SES groups were the fat and calorie content of foods and beverages and the relationship between obesity and health. Classroom instruction about obesity was generally more available to students from the higher SES groups. The majority of adolescents from both SES groups were interested in learning more about weight loss methods, energy expenditure, and the fat and calorie content of foods and beverages. The topic of least interest was the relationship between obesity and health. CONCLUSION: These preliminary findings suggest a need for more obesity education programs for adolescents, especially for those living in poverty.
ACCESSION #
8853060

 

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