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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Apr;28(4):536-42.

Factors associated with women's and children's body mass indices by income status.

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  • 1Economic Research Service, US Department of Agriculture, Washington DC 20036-5831, USA.



To describe associations between eating behaviors, dietary intake, physical activity, attitudes toward diet and health, sociodemographic variables and body mass index (BMI) among women and children, and differences by household income.


Data from the 1994-1996 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII) and the Diet and Health Knowledge Survey (DHKS) were examined using multivariate regression to estimate the associations between BMI and behavioral and environmental variables among women and children.


CSFII 1994-1996 is representative of the US population. DHKS surveyed CSFII respondents 20 y of age and over. Our samples consisted of 2419 adult women and 1651 school-age children.


CSFII respondents reported 24 h recalls of all food intakes on 2 nonconsecutive days and their personal and household characteristics, including self-reported height and weight. DHKS collected data on knowledge and attitudes toward dietary guidance and health from CSFII adult respondents.


Significant correlations between women's BMI and age, race, dietary patterns, TV watching, and smoking was observed among women from both low- and high-income households. Beverage consumption, eating out, the importance of maintaining healthy weight, and exercise were correlated with BMI only among women from high-income households. Among children, age, race, income, and mother's BMI were significantly correlated with child BMI.


Among women, the associations between some behavioral and environmental factors and BMI differ by household income. Intervention programs need to target specific eating and physical activity behaviors to promote a healthy body weight.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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