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Int J Obes. 1991 Nov;15(11):741-54.

Toward an empirically derived typology of obese persons.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York 11550.


The MMPI, medical, anthropomorphic, and laboratory evaluations were completed by 260 obese patients (211 females, 49 males) at a New York hospital. Biological and psychological variables were separately subjected to principal components analyses. Fifteen biological and five psychological components were extracted. A three-cluster solution was selected from a K-means clustering on biological components, replicated via Ward's method, and validated via a discriminant analysis on psychological components. Cluster 1, 'android obesity', contained 75 percent of the males and was characterized by 'masculine phenotypy', 'poor conditioning' and 'adverse serum lipids', and less 'feminine' responding on the MMPI. Cluster 2, 'gynoid obesity', was low on components measuring physical stress and masculine phenotypy, was 95 percent female, moderately obese compared to clusters 1 and 3, and had a relatively healthy profile. Cluster 3 had elevations on overall fatness and physiological and psychological stress, and low scores on a 'healthy blood synthesis' component. This cluster, labeled 'morbidly obese', was the most obese and had profiles suggesting adverse effects of obesity.

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