Variations in body mass index among older Americans: The roles of social and lifestyle factors


Objectives: To investigate the correlates of body mass index (BMI) among a national sample of older adults in the United States. Method: Data used in these analyses were part of the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Generalized ordered logistic regression was used to analyze difference between normal weight, overweight, moderately obese, and severely obese adults (n = 1,143) above the age of 65 years. Results: A higher BMI was more common among those with greater activities of daily living (ADL) limitations, greater use of prescription medicines (≥7), greater number of cardiovascular-related disorders (1 or ≥2), and those aged 65 to 74 years. Discussion: The findings acknowledge relationships between health characteristics, disability, and BMI among a national sample of older adults. These results suggest that prevention and management of health conditions, basic ADL, and BMI may be reasonable targets for intervention. © The Author(s) 2011.

Publication Title

Journal of Aging and Health