Association between Health Insurance and Obesity among Adolescents
Yalanda Barner 1 * , Jung Hey Sung 2, Luma Akil 3, Sophia S. Leggett 3
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1 School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management, Jackson State University, MS, USA2 School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Jackson State University, MS, USA3 School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral and Environmental Health, Jackson State University, MS, USA* Corresponding Author


Background: Childhood obesity has become a vast concern among public health professionals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that childhood obesity has a lasting effect on a child’s health and well-being. Research has found that 40% of Mississippi youth are obese and have a possibility of carrying the obesity into adulthood. Availability of health insurance greatly impact human health. Researchers suggest that children benefit from public and private insurance. The purpose of this study was to investigate an association between health insurance and obesity among adolescents in Hinds County, Mississippi.
Method: A cross-sectional study was administered to 36 parents of adolescents in Hinds County at the Metrocenter Mall and the Boys and Girls Club to determine whether adolescents have health insurance coverage. A descriptive statistic was conducted to describe the characteristics of the sample. Gender differences of BMI were examined using a t-test. Chi-square was used to show an association between obesity status and healthcare utilization. The statistical software that was used to analyze the data was Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS).
Results: There was no significant difference in insurance utilization and obesity rate was (p=0.125). 100% of participants with private insurance utilized their insurance while only 87% of participants utilized public insurance (p=0.056).
Conclusion: Based on this research, findings indicate that the majority of the adolescents have both public and private insurance. Parents are utilizing health insurance services for their adolescents. The prevalence of childhood obesity was significantly small. Healthcare utilization among obese adolescents was relatively small.


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Article Type: Research Article

EUR J ENV PUBLIC HLT, 2019, Volume 3, Issue 2, Article No: em0031

Publication date: 07 Sep 2019

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