Obesity and body mass index (BMI) in relation to life-style and psycho-social aspects.

F. Marcellini, C. Giuli, R. Papa, G. Tirabassi, E. Faloia, M. Boscaro, A. Polito, D. Ciarapica, M. Zaccaria, E. Mocchegiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Obesity is increasing in middle-aged adults and the elderly. This multifactorial phenomenon may have different causes, such as incorrect nutritional and dietary habits, psycho-social aspects and sedentary life-style. It is becoming a serious problem, due also to the world's ageing society. The aim of this study is to provide preliminary results on BMI, life-style and psycho-social aspects in a sample of Italian subjects, which also assesses the relationship between obesity and psychological health. We hypothesize that obesity is related to many factors, such as life-style, behavioral, socio-economic, and psychological aspects. The sample was made up of 107 obese and non-obese subjects, aged 50-74. All participants were given a multidimensional assessment, which included anthropometric, psycho-social and life-style evaluation. As per the protocol a structured life-style questionnaire designed to gather information on anthropometric measurements, socio-economic factors, physical activity, smoking, alcohol and food intake. The Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90) for the evaluation of a broad range of psychological problems and symptoms of psychopathology; the Binge Eating Scale (BES) for the assessment of disorders in the eating habits were administered. BMI was associated with age and education, socio-economic status and smoking in both genders. Psychological factors for obesity differed between overweight men and women. In conclusion, obesity and non-obesity appear as two different entities in some aspects. The increase in the prevalence of obesity in elderly subjects could lead to disability and age-related diseases. For this reason, greater insight of the factors related to the development of obesity is required to develop treatment strategies weight-loss prevention programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-206
Number of pages12
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Volume49 Suppl 1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Health(social science)
  • Gerontology


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