Ethnic, socioeconomic, and lifestyle correlates of obesity in U.S. women

The women's health initiative

J. E. Manson, C. E. Lewis, J. M. Kotchen, C. Allen, Karen Johnson, M. Stefanick, J. Foreyt, Robert Klesges, L. Tinker, E. Noonan, M. G. Perri, W. Dallas Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Because of the increasing prevalence of obesity in the United States (especially among minority women), an improved understanding of the role of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and modifiable lifestyle factors is of major public health importance. Methods: We assessed the relation of measured body mass index (BMI) (weight [kg] divided by height [m 2 ]) with ethnicity, educational level, household income, and several lifestyle factors among 98,705 women who were 50 to 79 years of age and enrolled in the multicenter Women's Health Initiative (WHI). Body fat composition was assessed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in a sample (n = 9,526). Multivariate regression models were performed to determine the independent correlates of obesity in this cohort. Results: BMI varied substantially across ethnic groups; mean level (kg/m 2 ) at baseline visit was 27.5 in white (non-Hispanic) women, 31/0 in black women, 28.8 in Hispanic women, 24.7 in Asian women, and 30.0 in American Indian women. These associations were corroborated by DXA performed among a sample. Lower educational levels and lower household income were each related to higher levels of BMI in each ethnic group. In multivariate models, independent predictors of obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m 2 ) were Hispanic, black, or American Indian ethnicity compared with white or Asian ethnicity; low educational level or family income; sedentary lifestyle; high parity; and a high percentage of calories from total and saturated fat (all P < .01). Differences in several lifestyle factors explained some but not all of the differences in BMIs across ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Conclusions: The prevalence of obesity varied markedly by ethnicity, educational level, and family income in this large and ethnically diverse cohort of postmenopausal U.S. women. Differences in several lifestyle factors explained some but not all of the adiposity differences. Further research to elucidate the basis for these differences is important to control the increasing epidemic of obesity in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-234
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Journal of Women's Health
Volume1
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001

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Women's Health
Life Style
Obesity
Body Mass Index
Ethnic Groups
North American Indians
Hispanic Americans
X-Rays
Sedentary Lifestyle
Adiposity
Parity
Body Composition
Social Class
Adipose Tissue
Public Health
Fats
Weights and Measures
Research

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Ethnic, socioeconomic, and lifestyle correlates of obesity in U.S. women : The women's health initiative. / Manson, J. E.; Lewis, C. E.; Kotchen, J. M.; Allen, C.; Johnson, Karen; Stefanick, M.; Foreyt, J.; Klesges, Robert; Tinker, L.; Noonan, E.; Perri, M. G.; Dallas Hall, W.

In: Clinical Journal of Women's Health, Vol. 1, No. 5, 01.12.2001, p. 225-234.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Manson, JE, Lewis, CE, Kotchen, JM, Allen, C, Johnson, K, Stefanick, M, Foreyt, J, Klesges, R, Tinker, L, Noonan, E, Perri, MG & Dallas Hall, W 2001, 'Ethnic, socioeconomic, and lifestyle correlates of obesity in U.S. women: The women's health initiative', Clinical Journal of Women's Health, vol. 1, no. 5, pp. 225-234. https://doi.org/10.1053/cjwh.2001.30069
Manson, J. E. ; Lewis, C. E. ; Kotchen, J. M. ; Allen, C. ; Johnson, Karen ; Stefanick, M. ; Foreyt, J. ; Klesges, Robert ; Tinker, L. ; Noonan, E. ; Perri, M. G. ; Dallas Hall, W. / Ethnic, socioeconomic, and lifestyle correlates of obesity in U.S. women : The women's health initiative. In: Clinical Journal of Women's Health. 2001 ; Vol. 1, No. 5. pp. 225-234.
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AU - Johnson, Karen

AU - Stefanick, M.

AU - Foreyt, J.

AU - Klesges, Robert

AU - Tinker, L.

AU - Noonan, E.

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