The relation between overweight and subjective health according to age, social class, slimming behavior and smoking habits in Dutch adults

J C Seidell, K C Bakx, P. Deurenberg, J Burema, J.G.A.J. Hautvast, F J Huygen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Subjective health status was assessed in relation to overweight by administering a list of 51 health complaints to adult men and women who were either chronically overweight as defined by Body Mass Index (BMI) or not overweight, in a continuous morbidity registration in four general practices during the period 1967-83. Responses were received from 455 men (182 overweight) and 790 women (386 overweight), ages 26-66 years. Response rate (71 per cent) and age distribution (mean age 48) were similar in overweight and non-overweight groups of both sexes. BMI was correlated with the total number of complaints in women (r = 0.15) but not in men (r = 0.07). Multiple regression analysis revealed, however, that age was an effect modifier in this relation, there being a negative association between BMI and subjective health in younger men and a positive association in older men, whereas in women the association between BMI and subjective health was much more pronounced at younger ages than at older ages. In addition, current smoking habits and social class (in men and women) and reported slimming behavior (in women) had an independent relation to the total number of health complaints. BMI was also related to specific complaints and groups of complaints, particularly in women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1410-5
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Volume76
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1986

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Diet, Reducing
  • Female
  • Health
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Obesity
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking
  • Social Class
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Journal Article

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