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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 Apr;22(4):1194-200. doi: 10.1002/oby.20677. Epub 2013 Dec 19.

The role of weight, race, and health care experiences in care use among young men and women.

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  • 1Social and Behavioral Research Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.



Increases in overweight and obesity (O/O)-related morbidities and health care costs raise questions about how weight influences patients' health care use and care experiences. Past research has been inconsistent; however, prior study designs and samples have limited exploration of how this association might be influenced by gender, race, and the joint impact of these factors.


This analysis of 1,036 young, relatively healthy, ethnically diverse, insured adults assessed the influence of O/O, gender, and race on, and the role of health care experiences in primary and preventive care use over a 12-month period.


The association of weight status with care use differed by gender. O/O men used more primary care visits; O/O women used fewer preventive care visits than their healthy weight counterparts. O/O men had poorer health care experiences than healthy weight men. African-American women reported poorer experiences, but those who were O/O reported greater trust in their provider. Care experience ratings did not explain the associations between BMI and care use.


Gender, race, and visit type together provide a context for O/O patient's care that may not be explained by care experiences. This context must be considered in efforts to encourage appropriate use of services.

Copyright © 2013 The Obesity Society.

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[Available on 2014/10/1]
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