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. Jan-Feb 2013;128(1):29-36.
doi: 10.1177/003335491312800105.

Obesity Among Chronically Homeless Adults: Is It a Problem?

Free PMC article

Obesity Among Chronically Homeless Adults: Is It a Problem?

Jack Tsai et al. Public Health Rep. .
Free PMC article


Objective: We examined rates of obesity and associated characteristics in the chronically homeless population to explore how a range of factors, including sociodemographics, housing, food source, physical and mental health, and health service use, were related to being overweight or obese.

Methods: We conducted multivariate regression analyses on a community sample of 436 chronically homeless adults across 11 U.S. cities to examine the prevalence of obesity.

Results: The majority (57%) of chronically homeless adults were overweight or obese. Chronically homeless adults who were female or Hispanic appeared to be at particular risk for obesity. There were few differences on physical and mental health by weight group. Although overweight and obese chronically homeless adults were more likely to discuss exercise with a health-care provider, they reported engaging in less exercise than those who were underweight or normal weight.

Conclusion: These findings underscore the need for greater attention to obesity in chronically homeless adults and demonstrate a food insecurity-obesity paradox or poverty-obesity link.

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