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Mobile Health Unit for Obesity Education

Title: Mobile Health Unit for Obesity Education: Attitudes and Perceptions Among Local Homeless Residents.
Name(s): Soberon, Angelica, author
Brown, L., author
Rodríguez, Jose, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: serial
Date Issued: 2009
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Objective: Poverty is a risk factor for obesity. Using homelessness as a marker for poverty, we examined the prevalence of obesity in Leon County, Florida's homeless population to determine their attitudes and perceptions towards the disease. Methods: Our medical team equipped a mobile health unit with educational material before visiting homeless shelters, health fairs and shopping areas in Northwest Florida. Participants at these sites completed a short survey and our staff calculated Body Mass Index (BMI). The team also distributed lifestyle modification and obesity patient education. BMI and survey responses were compared and analyzed using statistical software. Results: Subjects were assigned to one of two groups: the homeless group or the "all others" group. The homeless group's responses and BMIs were compared to the "all others" group. Weight status in the homeless group was distributed as follows: normal weight (48.3%), overweight (39.7%) and obese (12.1%). The distribution among all other participants was: normal weight (34.8%), overweight (25.8%), and obese (39.3%). Homeless participants overestimated their BMI category as often as all others, were less likely to participate in weight loss interventions, and less likely to recognize overweight and obesity as a problem. Conclusion: Medical practitioners need to recognize the role of patients' attitudes about weight loss and clarify definitions of exercise. Obesity is less prevalent among the homeless; however, the same obesity trends exist. In addition, we learned that the homeless are eager to learn about obesity and healthy lifestyles, but may not be as willing to attempt interventions that have worked in other populations. Mobile health units can be used to reach out to them.
Identifier: FSU_migr_fmr-0035 (IID)
Keywords: obesity, homeless, BMI, body mass index, poverty
Note: Originally published in The Bariatrician 1099-4521
Citation: Soberon, A. M., Brown, L. S., & Rodríguez, J. E. (2009). Mobile health unit for obesity education: Attitudes and perceptions among local homeless residents. The Bariatrician, 24 (1), 29-33.
Subject(s): Biochemistry
Public health
Community health services
Medicine, Preventive
Medical sciences
Metabolism -- Disorders
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU
Is Part of Series: Family Medicine and Rural Health Faculty Publications.
Is Part Of: The Bariatrician.
Issue: 1, 24

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Soberon, A., Brown, L., & Rodríguez, J. (2009). Mobile Health Unit for Obesity Education: Attitudes and Perceptions Among Local Homeless Residents. Bariatrician. Retrieved from