Religiousness, Physical Activity and Obesity among Older Cancer Survivors: Results from the Health and Retirement Study 2000-2010

TitleReligiousness, Physical Activity and Obesity among Older Cancer Survivors: Results from the Health and Retirement Study 2000-2010
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsNathenson, SLyn
JournalInternational Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society
KeywordsDemographics, Health Conditions and Status, Healthcare, Methodology, Other

The health behaviors of cancer survivors are an important research agenda in light of mounting evidence that aspects of health such as diet and exercise have salutary effects both mentally and physically for cancer survivors, a rapidly growing population in the United States and elsewhere. This paper analyzes data from the Health and Retirement Study 2000-2010 to determine if religious salience impacts the likelihood of obesity, changes in body mass index, and weekly vigorous activity. Two theories propose different hypotheses about the relationship. The health belief model would suggest the more religious may have the perception that healthy behaviors are positive and will be more likely to have a healthy body weight and get exercise. Conversely, high religious salience may signify a God locus of health control, leading to lesser likelihood of engagement in preventive health behaviors. Using logistic and regression analysis controlling for health behaviors at baseline (2000), these theories are tested, in addition to the explanatory power of lifestyle as a potential mechanism in the relationship of religiousness to body weight. Results show that high levels of religious salience may correspond to greater likelihood of obesity and lesser likelihood of getting regular exercise. Policy implications may include a greater emphasis on diet and physical activity in religious settings that may instead stress other health behaviors such as abstinence from smoking and alcohol. ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR


International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society Authors:Nathenson, Sophia Lyn 1; Affiliations: 1: Oregon Institute of Technology, University of Utah, USA Ming Wen, University of Utah, USA; Subject: Cancer -- Patients -- Health; Subject: Human behavior; Subject: Body weight; Subject: Obesity; Subject: Body mass index; Subject: Physical activity; Subject: Logistic regression analysis; Author-Supplied Keyword: Cancer Survivorship; Author-Supplied Keyword: God Locus of Health Control; Author-Supplied Keyword: Health Behavior; Author-Supplied Keyword: Health Belief Model; Author-Supplied Keyword: Medical Sociology; Author-Supplied Keyword: Obesity; Author-Supplied Keyword: Physical Activity; Author-Supplied Keyword: Religion; Number of Pages: 16p; Illustrations: 5 Charts; Record Type: Article

Endnote Keywords

Cancer -- Patients -- Health/Human behavior/Body weight/Obesity/Body mass index/Physical activity/Logistic regression analysis/Cancer Survivorship/God Locus of Health Control/Health Behavior/Health Belief Model/Medical Sociology/Religion

Endnote ID


Citation Key7959