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Eat Behav. 2003 Aug;4(2):159-71.

The relationship between eating behaviors and obesity in African American and Caucasian women.

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National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Epidemiology Branch A3-05, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.


The primary goal of this study was to determine the relevance of four self-reported eating behaviors (eating before bedtime, eating between meals, feeling hungry within 3 h of eating, and eating beyond satiation) as risk factors for overweight and obesity. The sample consisted of 35- to 49-year-old, premenopausal African American (n=580) and Caucasian (n=398) women, randomly selected from the membership of a large urban prepaid health plan. Eating beyond satiation was the only behavior associated with body mass index (BMI). The odds of becoming obese increased 6-fold for Caucasian women and 15-fold for African American women who ate beyond satiation everyday compared to those who rarely or never ate beyond satiation. Additionally, eating beyond satiation was also the only eating behavior associated with the age of obesity onset. Focusing on this eating behavior in weight loss programs may be important.

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