Send to

Choose Destination
Obes Res Clin Pract. 2018 Nov - Dec;12(6):547-554. doi: 10.1016/j.orcp.2018.06.001. Epub 2018 Jun 18.

Body mass index and mobility limitations: An analysis of middle-aged and older Black, Hispanic, and White women in the U.S.

Author information

Institute for Governmental Service and Research, University of Maryland at College Park, College Park, MD 20741, United States. Electronic address:



While the Body Mass Index (BMI) did not change significantly for men from 2005 to 2014 in the United States, women exhibited an upward linear trend. Hispanic and Black women, in particular, showed a dramatic increase. Therefore, the objective of this study was to examine the association between BMI and mobility limitations for non-institutionalised middle-aged and older Black, Hispanic, and White women.


The International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health model was applied to a sample of 2865 Black, 1846 Hispanic, and 9721 White women categorised as middle-aged and older (i.e., at least 50 years of age) from the 2010 and 2014 Rand Health and Retirement Study. A random effects ordered logit was employed.


After accounting for personal/activity characteristics, the analyses revealed Black women with greater BMI were associated with a higher likelihood for mobility limitations with an odds ratio of 1.11 [1.06-1.16, 95% CI]. A significant association was also found for Hispanic women with an odds ratio of 1.16 [1.11-1.23, 95% CI] and White women with an odds ratio of 1.16 [1.13-1.19, 95% CI]. Even after accounting for the possibility of endogeneity, BMI remained robust.


Higher-levels of BMI were associated with an increased probability for mobility limitations for Black, Hispanic, and White middle-aged and older women. Those with a vigorous exercise regimen were less likely to be in this category across all ranges of BMI. These results are useful for prioritising minority health policy, particularly given the limited amount of existing research in this specific area.


Body mass index; Disability; Minority women; Mobility limitations; Older women

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center