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You are here: Home / Retired Persons / Caryn Bell, Ph.D. / Caryn Bell Publications / Race and income moderate the association between depressive symptoms and obesity

C.N. Bell, Q.L. Walton, and C.S. Thomas (2019)

Race and income moderate the association between depressive symptoms and obesity

Preventive Medicine, 119:1-6.

Complex interrelationships between race, sex, obesity and depression have been well-documented. Because of differences in associations between socioeconomic status (SES) and health by race, determining the role of SES may help to further explicate these relationships. The aim of this study was to determine how race and income interact with obesity on depression. Combining data from the 2007-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, depressive symptoms was measured with the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and obesity was assessed as body mass index ≥30 kg/m2. Three-way interactions between race, income and obesity on depressive symptoms were determined using ordered regression models. Significant interactions between race, middle income and obesity (OR = 0.66, 95% CI = 0.22-1.96) suggested that, among white women, obesity is positively associated with depressive symptoms across income levels, while obesity was not associated with depression for African American women at any income level. Obesity was only associated with depressive symptoms among middle-income white men (OR = 1.44, 95% CI = 1.02-2.03) and among high-income African American men (OR = 4.65, 95% CI = 1.48-14.59). The associations between obesity and depressive symptoms vary greatly by race and income. Findings from this study underscore the importance of addressing obesity and depression among higher income African American men.

Health Disparities, Health, Bell, Social context, Health in Social Context, Social and Economic Inequality
Depression, Obesity, Socioeconomic status, Race
PMID: 30521832 Eprint: December 3, 2018

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