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A summary of Literature Review of the Health Effects of Obesity

Heslehurst et al (2008), in a study about complications of obesity, sought to determine the effect of maternal BMI status on outcomes of pregnancy with immediate short-term obstetric resource implications.

The study was a meta-analysis study that aimed to investigate the relationships between maternal obesity and its impact on obstetric care.Literature concerning cohort studies of pregnant mothers was searched.The pregnant women under study were required to have their anthropometric measurements taken within sixteen weeks gestation, followed up during pregnancy with at least 1 obese and 1 group for comparison.

The meta-analysis showed that maternal obesity was significantly related to increased odds of instrumental and caesarian deliveries, hemorrhages, infections, longer hospital stay and increased requirement for neonatal care.

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Maternal obesity had a significant contribution to poor prognosis for mother and baby when delivering and immediately during the post-partum period.

The National clinical for managing obese pregnant women and public health should urgently therefore come up with interventions to address health of mothers and their babies.

Study 2

Sullivan et al (2008) sought to investigate the effect of obesity on diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipedemia. The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) for 2000 and 2002 was used to estimate the impact of health on people with hyperlipedemia, diabetes and hypertension.

Multivariate regression methods for controlling variables such as age, race, sex, ethnicity, education, insurance, income, smoking status, proxy response and morbidity were used.  Instruments used in the study include SF-12 physical component scale (PCS-12), mental component scale (MCS-12), visual analogue scale (VAS) and EQ-5D index. The least absolute deviation that was censored was used to for the VAS and EQ-5D while the ordinary least squares (OLS) were employed for the PCS-12 and MCS-12.

It was concluded that, obesity significantly aggravates the association between diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipedemia and health function, health perception in United States.

Merten et al (2008) undertook a study to investigate racial and gender differences in adolescent and young adult psychosocial outcomes. Sample size used was 7,881 African American (915 males and 1,073 females) and white (2864 males and 3029 females) adolescents. The study was basically concerned with examinations of psychosocial consequences that are encountered by obese adolescents.

Results of the study showed that obesity in females is associated with lower status when one attains young adulthood. The obese females also tend to be depressive than normal weight females. However, obesity status does not affect the psychosocial outcomes in young adult males. There was no evidence to indicate an interaction between obesity and race.


Obesity in individuals leads to both psychological and physiological consequences. Obesity in pregnant women causes various complications which include hemorrhages, neonatal trauma, caesarian and instrumental deliveries among others. Obesity in teenagers leads to low self esteem especially in girls. At the same time obesity exacerbates hyperlipedemia, diabetes and hypertension in individuals suffering from these conditions.


Wang, F and Veugelers, P.J (2008). Self-esteem and cognitive development in the era of the childhood obesity epidemic. Obesity Reviews. 9(6): 615-623

Qi et al (2008). Gene-environment interaction and obesity. Nutrition Reviews. 66(12):684- 694.

Heslehurst et al (2008). The impact of maternal BMI status on pregnancy outcomes with immediate short-term obstetric resource implications: a meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews. 9(6): 635-683.

Sullivan et al (2008). The impact of obesity on diabetes, hyperlipidemia and hypertension in the United States, Quality of Life Research 17(8):1063-1071

Merten et al (2008). Adolescent Obesity and Young Adult Psychosocial Outcomes: Gender and Racial Differences, Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 37(9):1111-1122. Other Sources for Literature Review of health effects of obesity

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