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J Biosoc Sci. 2010 Sep;42(5):601-18. doi: 10.1017/S0021932010000301. Epub 2010 Jun 28.

Psychosocial correlates of body mass index in four groups of Quebec adults.

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School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, McGill University, Quebec, Canada.


The objective of the present analysis was to study the associations between body weight psychosocial correlates and body mass index (BMI) among four groups of adults in the Quebec population. Data were taken from the Social Lifestyles and Health 1998 Survey performed by the Institut de la Statistique du Qu├ębec (ISQ). The suggested guidelines of the ISQ were used to estimate the population's proportions and for statistical analysis. The groups studied were 25- to 44- and the 45- to 64-year-old men and women. In all groups, currently trying to lose weight increased the odds of reporting an excess weight. Better perceived eating habits was associated with lower BMI in most groups except in the 25- to 44-year-old women, where the trend was not significant. Higher number of physical activities related to transport and cigarette smoking were associated with lower BMI in both men groups. In both women groups, more frequent consumption of alcoholic beverages decreased significantly the odds of reporting excess body weight. A university degree was associated with a lower BMI only in the 25- to 44-year-old men. Regular practise of leisure time physical activity was associated with a lower BMI only in 45- to 64-year-old women. Opposite associations were observed between perceived health and BMI. In the 45- to 64-year-old men, better perceived health increased the odds of reporting an excess weight. Conversely, the odds of reporting excess weight decreased with better health in 25- to 44-year-old women. Many correlates differ between age group and sex. The identification of these factors illustrates the need to adapt obesity-related programmes toward specific sub-groups within the general population.

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