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J Natl Med Assoc. Dec 2005; 97(12): 1642–1648.
PMCID: PMC2640735

Correlates of obesity among patients attending an urban family medical center.


Urban populations face unique health challenges. We used data from a cross-sectional comprehensive health risk assessment survey conducted at an urban family medicine center to explore demographic and clinical correlates of obesity among 923 adults ages 20-64 years. Based on univariate analyses, there were no significant differences for body mass index (BMI) categories or health status ratings by racial group. A logistic model revealed that obese respondents (BMI >30.0) were significantly less likely to be female, white and to report a body image of overweight. Overall, just 25% of persons with a BMI of >30 classified themselves as being overweight. A second logistic model revealed that respondents reporting a body image of overweight were significantly more likely to be age 50-64 years, female, white and to report their health as good or fair/poor, which may reflect differing cultural and social beliefs of how individuals perceive their weight. This misperception between calculated BMI and reported body image in this urban population may serve to moderate attempts to address weight control as a health issue.

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