New Research Identifies Complex Factors Contributing to Obesity-Related Health Inequalities – News

UAB experts highlight the social determinants of obesity and add to the growing body of evidence identifying potential solutions to address obesity and related conditions.

In a new supplement to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have identified complex factors that contribute to obesity and obesity-related health disparities and propose strategies to improve the well-being of affected populations. from these disparities.

Obesity increases the risk of health conditions such as high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and diabetes. Recent findings have also revealed that obesity is a risk factor for hospitalization and death due to COVID-19.

The supplement, “Obesity-Related Health Disparities: Addressing Complex Contributors,” highlights research findings from researchers and projects supported by the Obesity Health Disparities Research Center. The OHDRC is a Center of Excellence funded by the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Inequalities that supports transdisciplinary, multilevel and multidomain research to understand the complex factors that contribute to obesity and obesity-related health disparities . The OHDRC uses the state of Alabama and the Deep South region as a model to study and investigate biological, behavioral and social factors related to obesity.

The OHDRC applies the NIMHD research framework to inform the center’s work and research.

“These articles identify strategies to better measure and identify modifiable and immutable risk factors for obesity and help us understand the influence and interaction of these factors on obesity and related conditions,” said Mona N Fouad, MD, senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion at UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine.

UAB experts highlight the social determinants of obesity and add to the growing body of evidence identifying potential solutions to address obesity and related conditions.The supplement demonstrates that rigorous and comprehensive methods are needed to account for the multiple and related contributors to obesity, including fundamental social, behavioral and biological factors. Likewise, these research reports show that a complex problem such as obesity requires multilevel and multidomain solutions to better address it. Rather, a variety of social determinants and other factors contribute to the risk of obesity and affect the prevention and treatment of obesity and related conditions.

“Researchers, doctors, policy makers and other stakeholders can use these articles to inform health care and public policy approaches in a way that improves the overall health and well-being of populations affected by obesity and health inequalities related to ‘obesity,’ said Gareth Dutton, Ph.D., a professor of diabetes prevention and control at the UAB Division of Preventive Medicine.

Contributions to the supplement highlight theoretical approaches to explain the social determinants of obesity; protective factors that can mitigate negative associations between neighborhood disadvantage and health; links between financial well-being, stress and weight gain; and the impact of COVID-19 for people with obesity and weight-related comorbidities.

“The impact of this supplement goes beyond ongoing research. Ultimately, it enables our teams to share their groundbreaking findings that can improve the overall health and well-being of populations affected by obesity and obesity-related health disparities, ”Fouad said.

Other contributing authors include:

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