Obesity

  • David Griffiths
Chapter
Part of the Psychology for Professional Groups book series

Abstract

Obesity is a common problem and can involve quite serious complications. As one example of a study of the prevalence of obesity, Silverstone (1974) reports that a survey conducted in Richmond used an arbitrary criterion of an excess of 20 per cent over the median weight. The application of this standard indicated that 7.5 per cent of women under the age of 30 were overweight and 30 per cent or more of women over the age of 50. The percentage for all ages combined was 23.5 per cent for women (based on a sample of 715) and 15.4 per cent for men (where the sample size was 488). The incidence of obesity in Silverstone’s sample also varied with both age and social class. The highest rates in women were for the older age group (31.6 per cent of the 50–65 year olds) and for social class groups 4 and 5 (35.5 per cent). A similar trend was obvious for the men but the absolute rates were considerably lower (18.2 per cent for the 50–65 years group and 18.4 per cent for social classes 4 and 5). Although the prevalence and incidence rates from other studies tend to vary (depending on such factors as the samples studied and the criteria used), it is apparent that obesity is a common problem.

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References

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Annotated reading

  1. Hodgson, R. and Rankin, H. (1978) Behavioural psychotherapy and obesity. Unpublished manuscript, Addiction Research Unit, Institute of Psychiatry, University of London. Though this review of the applications of behaviour therapy to obesity was used extensively in the preparation of the final chapter, unfortunately it has not been published and is not therefore generally available without direct contact with the authors.Google Scholar
  2. Leon, G.R. (1976) Current directions in the treatment of obesity. Psychological Bulletin, 83, 557–578.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Leon, G.R. and Roth, L. (1977) Obesity: psychological causes, correlations and speculations. Psychological Bulletin, 84, 117–139. Both of these reviews will be available through libraries. Both are comprehensive in their scope and are also useful as sources of references. The style tends to be rather condensed, but the effort of reading is rewarded by the competence of the discussions and their wide scope.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The British Psychological Society 1981

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  • David Griffiths

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