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Type: Theses
Title: Parental body shape in mid-life and its association with adult offspring obesity, body shape and self-perception of weight status
Author: Grant, Janet Frances
Issue Date: 2018
School/Discipline: School of Medicine
Abstract: Obesity and its health-related risks of increased morbidity and premature mortality are global concerns, with previous studies examining associations between obesity and mortality mainly focussing on Body Mass Index (BMI), without central adiposity. Intervening in the intergenerational transfer of obesity is recognised as a significant opportunity to impact the obesity epidemic. For individuals, recognition of parental obesity and determining accurate self-perception of body weight may result in healthier behaviours and ageing. There are few studies on the Australian population regarding the association between parental body shape and adult offspring body shape, and no literature was located using an Australian or international population regarding parental body shape and offspring weight self-perception. The aim of this research was to examine the effect of excess weight and waist circumference on mortality, and then explore the influence of mid-life parental body shape, using recall from pictograms by their adult offspring, with measured and self-perceived weight of adult offspring. All three studies in this thesis used data collected on adults from the North West Adelaide Health Study (NWAHS), a South Australian longitudinal cohort study established in 1999 (baseline n=4060). The first study presents findings on the association between obesity and all-cause, cardiovascular disease and cancer-related mortality, using a recently developed measure of mortality risk (A Body Shape Index (ABSI)) incorporating both waist circumference (WC) and BMI. Results suggest that people with the highest BMI and WC combined, as calculated by the ABSI, had the highest mortality risk; more than two and a half times those with the lowest ABSI. The second study presents the association between midlife parental body shape (using pictograms for offspring recall) and four weight measures of obesity and fat distribution (BMI; WC; waist-hip ratio, WHR; and waist-height ratio, WHtR) of their adult children. Having two obese parents resulted in an increased likelihood of their adult offspring also being overweight or obese. This association tended to be stronger for daughters than sons across BMI, WC and WHtR. The third study examined self-perception of weight and demonstrated that only 27% of obese men and 39% of obese women perceived themselves to be “very overweight”. This study also examined the association between midlife parental body shape and self-perception of weight among adult offspring, finding that obese men and overweight or obese women who had a heavier mother were more likely to correctly estimate or underestimate their own weight. Obese women who also had an obese father were more likely to correctly estimate or underestimate their own weight than women whose father was not obese. This association did not hold for obese men. Among normal weight men, those who had a heavier mother were more likely to overestimate their weight. Through the use of pictograms of parental body shape as screening devices, in combination with a person’s current body shape measures and weight self-perception, primary care physicians may be able to identify those with an increased risk of developing obesity related co-morbidities and premature mortality, for targeted monitoring, intervention and treatment.
Advisor: Taylor, Anne Winifred
Chittleborough, Catherine
Wittert, Gary Allen
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) (Research by Publication) -- University of Adelaide, Adelaide Medical School, 2018
Keywords: Research by publication
adult offspring
central adiposity
longitudinal cohort
parental body shape
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
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