Knowledge of obesity and its impact on reproductive health outcomes among urban women
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
This prospective survey study assessed the knowledge of reproductive outcomes that are affected by obesity among women in an urban community. A total of 207 women attending a community fair on the south side of Chicago participated in the study. A survey assessing knowledge of BMI and of the effects of obesity on general, cardiometabolic and reproductive health outcomes was administered. Subjects ranged in age from 18 to 70 years (mean ± SD, 48.6 ± 12.9 years) and ranged in BMI from 17.3 to 52.1 kg/m(2) (mean ± SD, 31.2 ± 6.7 kg/m(2)). The following percentages of women were aware that obesity increases the risk of miscarriage (37.5 %), irregular periods (35.8 %), infertility (33.9 %), cesarean section (30.8 %), breast cancer (28.0 %), birth defects (23.7 %), stillbirth (14.1 %), and endometrial cancer (18.1 %). This study found that while women in an urban community are aware of the cardiometabolic risks associated with obesity, they demonstrate limited knowledge of the effects of obesity on reproductive outcomes. Public education is needed to increase knowledge and awareness of the reproductive consequences of obesity. Women of reproductive age may be uniquely responsive to obesity education and weight loss intervention.