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Am J Clin Nutr. 1991 Jun;53(6 Suppl):1566S-1570S.

Is race associated with weight change in US adults after adjustment for income, education, and marital factors?

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Division of Nutrition, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA 30333.


We examined the 10-y change in body mass index (BMI, in kg/m2) of black and white adults who entered the First National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Epidemiologic Followup Study at ages 25-44 y. In women the mean change in BMI was greater for blacks than for whites despite multiple adjustments. However, the risk of major weight gain (MWG; BMI change greater than or equal to + 5) was nearly identical in black and white women. Womens' MWG was independently associated with low income [odds ratio (OR) = 1.7] and with becoming married (OR = 1.8). The risk of major weight loss (MWL; BMI change less than or equal to -2.5) was lower in black women than in white women (OR = 0.6). In men mean BMI change, MWG (BMI change greater than or equal to + 4) and MWL (BMI change greater than or equal to -2) were not associated with race, but there were effects associated with low income, low education, and marital changes. Black race does not increase the risk of weight gain; in women it may be associated with a reduced likelihood of weight loss.

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