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Obes Med. 2018 Sep;11:25-30. doi: 10.1016/j.obmed.2018.06.001. Epub 2018 Jun 30.

Social network body size is associated with body size norms of South Asian adults.

Author information

1
Feinberg School of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, Northwestern University, 750 N Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL, 60611, United States.
2
Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University, 420 E Superior, Chicago, IL, 60611, United States.
3
Department of Medicine and Public Health Sciences and the Chicago Center for HIV Elimination, University of Chicago, 5837 S. Maryland Ave, Chicago, IL, 60637, United States.
4
Division of General Internal Medicine, University of California San Francisco, 1545 Divisadero, San Francisco, CA, 94115, United States.
5
Division of Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, United States.

Abstract

Aims:

To examine the association between social network body size and body size norms in South Asian adults.

Methods:

Participants (n = 766) from the Mediators of Atherosclerosis in South Asians Living in America (MASALA) study (2014-2018) provided detailed information about their five closest network members. Participants' perceptions of their network members' body sizes, their own body size (self-body size), and a healthy body size for men and women (body size norms) were assessed using the Stunkard 9-figure scale. Adjusted hierarchical linear regression models were used to examine associations between the average body size of network members and perceived body size norms.

Results:

Participants' average age was 59.1 years (SD = 9.2) and 44.1% were women. Participants reported an average network body size of 4.0 (SD = 1.1). The average body size norm for male and female Stunkard images was 3.6 (SD = 1.0) and 3.4 (SD = 0.8), respectively. Social network body size was positively associated with increasing body size norms (β-coefficient = 0.31, 95% CI: 0.26, 0.36), independent of self-body size.

Discussion:

Social networks may influence body size norms in South Asian adults. Long-term follow up of the MASALA cohort will determine if social network body size and body size norms are associated with weight- control behaviors and weight change.

KEYWORDS:

Body size norms; Cardiovascular risk; Obesity; Social network influence; South Asian American

PMID:
31338475
PMCID:
PMC6648707
[Available on 2019-09-01]
DOI:
10.1016/j.obmed.2018.06.001

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