Associations Between Gender and Obesity Among Adults with Mental Illnesses in a Community Health Screening Study

Jessica A. Jonikas, Judith A. Cook, Lisa A. Razzano, Pamela J. Steigman, Marie M. Hamilton, Margaret A. Swarbrick, Alberto Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The prevalence of obesity and its associations with gender, clinical factors, and medical co-morbidities were examined among 457 adults attending public mental health programs in 4 U.S. states. BMI was measured directly and other information was gathered by interview. Over half (59 %, n = 270) were obese including 18 % (n = 83) who were morbidly obese. In hierarchical ordinary least squares regression analysis controlling for demographic, psychiatric, medical, smoking, and health insurance statuses, women were significantly more likely to be obese than men. Obesity also was more likely among those who were younger and not high school graduates, those with diabetes or hypertension, and those who did not smoke tobacco. Interaction effects were found between gender and diabetes, hypertension, tobacco smoking, education, race, and age. The high prevalence of obesity among women, coupled with interactions between gender and other factors, suggest that targeted approaches are needed to promote optimal physical health in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)406-415
Number of pages10
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Health disparities
  • Obesity and gender
  • Public mental health
  • Serious mental illness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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