Learning Objective 1: To understand the relationships between obesity, menopausal status, and health behavior among climacteric women in a rural community.
Learning Objective 2: To take actions to promote persistent practices of healthy behavior among women, and to enable women to take responsibility for a healthy lifestyle.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. A purposive sampling method was used to recruit participants because a sensitive research topic for women was proposed. Face-to-face interviews were used to collect the data of the Climacteric Health Behavior (CHB) Scale and anthropometrics from 60 climacteric women in Taiwan. The obesity status was measured using the body mass index (BMI) and waist circumferences. The Chinese version of the CHB developed by Tsao et al. (2002) was used to gather the data of the climacteric women's achievement of practicing health behavior.
Results: After controlling the covariate of age, there was a significant difference in the means of BMI between the postmenopausal and premenopausal women (F = 3.125, p < .05). Women with obesity performed less overall health behavior, nutrition-related health behavior, and health responsibility than those of non obese women (p < .05). The variable of nutrition related health behavior was significantly and negatively associated with the BMI levels (t = -2.86, p < .01) and accounted for 12% of the total variance.
Discussion: This study provides an understanding of climacteric women's obesity status and related health behavior in a rural community of southern Taiwan. It is imperative that community health care personnel take actions to promote persistent practices of healthy behavior among women, and to enable women to take responsibility for a healthy lifestyle.
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