Obesity-related comorbidities in obese African Americans in an outpatient weight loss program

Aluko A. Hope, Shiriki K. Kumanyika, Melicia C. Whitt, Justine Shults

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Objective: To identify, among obese African-American enrollees in an outpatient weight loss program, differences between those with and without obesity-related comorbidities (ORCMs). Research Methods and Procedures: Data were from 237 obese African Americans (BMI, 30 to 50 kg/m2; 90% women) who enrolled in a 10-week lifestyle weight loss program. Analyses compared subgroups defined by ORCM status (from medical history) on baseline characteristics, program attendance, and postprogram weight change. Results: Most participants (76%) had one or more ORCMs. Those with versus without ORCMs, respectively, were older (mean age, 45.6 vs. 37.1 years; p < 0.001), were less educated (59.2% vs. 76.6% with >12 years; p = 0.031), were more likely to perceive a physical limitation affecting activity (22.2% vs. 1.8%; p < 0.001), and had higher waist circumference (mean, 113.7 vs. 106.9 cm; p < 0.001) but not BMI (38.3 vs. 37.0 kg/m2; p = 0.095). Logistic regression analyses confirmed the independence of these associations. Having ORCMs was not associated with class attendance or return for data collection after the 10-week program. Postprogram weight change (n = 134) was unrelated to ORCMs, but better weight loss was seen among those without perceived physical limitations (1.9 vs. 0.4 kg in those without versus with limitations; p = 0.069). Conclusion: Data from this clinical sample of obese African Americans suggest that waist circumference is relevant to ORCM status at BMI levels up to 50 kg/m2. Clear indications for tailoring of treatment based on ORCM status were not identified, although the possible influence of ORCM-related activity limitations warrants further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)772-779
Number of pages8
JournalObesity research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • African Americans
  • Obesity-related comorbidity
  • Physical limitation
  • Waist circumference
  • Weight loss program

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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