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Association between Obesity and Mental Disorders Over Different Levels of Income; A BRFSS Data Analysis

Rebecca Schroyer, Emily Stoffel, and Rebecca Vardaman

Department of Health Science, Ball State University, Muncie, IN


In the United States, obesity and mental health diagnoses are To evaluate if there is an association between BMI
on the rise, with one third of the population diagnosed as and depression.
obese and 1 in 5 suffering from a mental health disorder.
Hypothesis: As BMI increases, the likelihood of
Obesity has been linked to mental health through income and
other lifestyle factors. Therefore, the purpose of this study developing a depressive disorder increases.
was to evaluate the relationship between BMI and mental
health disorder across different levels of income. The data
analyzed in this study was collected from the 2015
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). The
Web Enabled Analyses Tool (WEAT) was used to perform a Study Type: Survey
crosstabulation test with statistical significance set at P<0.05. Data Set: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
The participants in this study are adults over the age of 18 (BRFSS) 2015
throughout the United States. The data analyzed showed a Participants: 341,893 total records, males and females >
significant association between BMI and mental disorder 18 years old
diagnoses (2 = 695.0, p<0.0001). As BMI increased, the Statistical Analysis: Cross Tabulation, statistical
number of mental disorder diagnoses increased. When we significance set at p<0.05
looked at this relationship across levels of income, BMI and Independent variable: BMI
mental health diagnoses remained related over all income Dependent variable: Diagnosed with a depressive disorder
levels (p<0.0001). In conclusion, the data indicates that there
is an association between BMI status and diagnosis of a
mental disorder across different income levels. The
practitioner will implement this information by screening and
evaluating the mental status of obese and overweight patients Of those surveyed, there is a significant
and making the necessary referrals. association found between BMI status and
mental health diagnosis.
BACKGROUND The relationship was observed over all income
Obesity is an abnormally excessive accumulation of fat that
potentially impairs health with related comorbidities (Ishii, Chang, Screening and evaluation of obese and
Tanaka, Kuroda, Tsuji, Akishita, & Iilima, 2016). overweight patients must be set to evaluate
BMI is the most useful measurement of obesity (Ishii, Chang,
Tanaka, Kuroda, Tsuji, Akishita, & Iilima, 2016).
mental status of patients.
Obesity and depressive disorders are some of the leading public
health concerns globally (de Wit, Fokkema, van Straten, Lamers,
Cuijpers, & Penninx, 2010).
Depressive disorders and obesity share common complications, such REFERENCES
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