Dietary, Lifestyle, and Health Correlates of Overweight and Obesity in Adults 19 to 39 Years of Age: The Bogalusa Heart Study


Diet and lifestyle factors of young adults and their relationship to health risk factors are understudied. Data from the Bogalusa Heart Study population (n = 1214; 19-39 years; 74.1% white; 60.8% female) were used to study associations of lifestyle, health risk factors, and reported health problems with the National Institutes of Health body mass index (BMI) categories of normal, overweight, and obese. Data from self-reported questionnaires and laboratory measures were evaluated using covariate-adjusted multinomial logistic regression and analysis of covariance, linear trend test, and the Cochran-Armitage trend test. Obese individuals had lower odds of consuming high-fat dairy products (odds ratio [OR] = 0.77; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.62-0.96) and fruit/fruit juice/vegetables (OR = 0.83; CI = 0.75-0.93) and had higher odds of consuming hamburgers/sandwiches (OR = 2.81; CI = 1.52-5.20); processed meats (OR = 6.95; CI = 2.20-21.96); and sweetened (OR = 1.20; CI = 1.01-1.43) or diet beverages (OR = 1.27; CI = 1.02-1.58) than those of normal weight. Obese participants also had higher odds of being physically inactive versus being very active (OR = 2.65; CI = 1.64-4.29). Mean serum total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, apolipoprotein-B, and insulin resistance were higher (P <.05 for all) in the overweight/obese when compared with normal weight individuals. Values were higher in those with higher weight status (linear trend P <.0001 for all). Self-reported health problems also increased with BMI. Interventions to improve diet and physical activity patterns among overweight/obese adults in this age group are needed. © 2012 The Author(s).

Publication Title

American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine