Title

The psychosocial aspects of obesity and patients’ insight into the causes, prevention and treatment of obesity among patients visiting two tertiary care hospitals at Karachi, Pakistan: results of a pilot study

Document Type

Article

Department

Family Medicine

Abstract

Aim: To study the psychosocial aspects of obesity and to determine the patients’ insight into the causes, prevention and treatment of obesity among patients visiting two tertiary care Hospitals in Karachi, Pakistan. Methods: A cross sectional survey was conducted at the out-patient departments of two tertiary care hospitals of Karachi, Pakistan.Participation in the survey was voluntary and written informed consent was taken. Patients18 years old or above, with a BMI of at least 30 kg/m2 were included in the study. The exclusion criteria included age less than 18 years, BMI less than 30 kg/m2 and pregnant females. Results: A total of 100 individuals agreed to participate in the study and all of them completed the interview. The study population had a mean age of 38.9 years (18-75 years) and a mean BMI of 34.8 kg/m2 (Range: 30.0-44.4 kg/m2). 76% were unhappy with their weight (76%), and 83% considered themselves to be overweight. 55% of the obese individuals were teased or bullied as a result of their weight. 67% of the obese individuals reported being victims of criticism and discrimination. 74% of the obese patients were significantly affected by obesity. 43.2% (n=32) reported that the most significant issues that they faced were psychological, 32.4% (n=24) social, 13.5% (n=10) monetary and 9.5% (n=7) medical. 40% believed that the most likely cause of being obeseis an unhealthy diet, 27% said that the cause is familial, 11% thought it was due to the lack of physical activity in their lives, and 8% said it was related to their state of emotions. Conclusion: The obese individuals in our study seemed to have suffered from major psychosocial disturbances and have insight into the cause of their illness. It is extremely important to explore the psychosocial aspect of obesity and to increase awareness regarding the causes and prevention of obesity.

Publication

Middle East Journal of Family Medicine