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MedGenMed. 2006 Jul 6;8(3):3.

Multivitamin use in relation to self-reported body mass index and weight loss attempts.

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Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.



There are scant data on patterns of multivitamin use among US adults in terms of body mass index (BMI) or whether one is trying to lose weight.


To examine multivitamin use and beliefs about multivitamin use among adults according to BMI and to determine whether use by body weight differs if one is trying to lose weight.


Cross-sectional multivariate analysis of the HealthStyles consumer survey. The final analytic sample consisted of 2239 women and 1532 men.


Prevalence and odds of multivitamin use by demographic and behavioral characteristics including BMI, use by weight loss intent, and among users, reasons for use.


63.7% of women and 52.9% of men reported multivitamin use (taking 1 or more multivitamin per week). Obese women were less likely than normal-weight women to use multivitamins; no differences according to BMI category were detected for men. Among women who were not trying to lose weight, obese women were less likely than normal-weight women to use multivitamins (odds ratio = 0.63, CI 0.41-0.98). Assessment of reasons for use found that compared among women not trying to lose weight, those trying to lose weight were more likely to report multivitamin use because It is important for my health.


This descriptive analysis adds to the limited literature on multivitamin use according to both body weight and attempting to lose weight. Multivitamin use was common and decreased with increasing BMI. This may be because fewer obese people consider vitamins "important for their health".

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