Body mass index, waist to hip ratio and waist/height in adult Polish women in relation to their education, place of residence, smoking and alcohol consumption

Department of Human Biological Development, Institute of Anthropology, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Umultowska 89, 61-614 Poznań, Poland.
HOMO - Journal of Comparative Human Biology (Impact Factor: 0.73). 02/2008; 59(4):329-42. DOI: 10.1016/j.jchb.2008.06.003
Source: PubMed


Obesity is a complex, multifactorial disorder that develops from genotype and environmental interactions. The aim of this study is to describe the variability of body mass index (BMI), waist to hip ratio (WHR) and waist to height (W/Ht) in adult Polish women, and to determine relationships between these variables and factors such as education, place of residence, smoking and alcohol drinking. The tested group consisted of 10,254 women aged 25-95 years, who voluntarily filled in questionnaires and participated in anthropometric measurements (body height and mass, waist and hip circumferences). The BMI, WHR and W/Ht values were calculated based on these measurements. The participants were differentiated in terms of education, residence and lifestyle (smoking, alcohol drinking). Chi-squared test, product-moment correlations, ANOVA, multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) and logistic regression with backward elimination were used to evaluate associations between social and lifestyle factors and BMI, WHR and W/Ht. The results confirm (1) the relationship between low social status and the risk of overweight and obesity as observed in developed countries; (2) higher susceptibility to environmental factors such as education, place of residence, smoking and alcohol drinking in younger (premenopausal) women; (3) the usefulness of simple and practical anthropometric indicators such as WHR and W/Ht for the identification of the higher risk of future metabolic diseases in obese people and those with a normal body mass.

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    • "Usual alcohol consumption, mostly as wine, is customary in Mediterranean countries [5]. Available epidemiologic studies of alcohol intake and weight gain have provided contradictory results, showing positive associations [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12], negative associations [13] [14] [15], or non-significant associations [16]. Only a minority of prospective studies have assessed the role of specific alcoholic beverages on weight gain. "
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    ABSTRACT: The effects of alcohol on body weight might be modulated by the total amount of alcohol intake and type of alcoholic beverage. However, available results are contradictory. There is a scarcity of studies on this topic in Mediterranean areas where wine consumption is high. We prospectively evaluated the association between the type of alcoholic beverage intake and weight change in a Mediterranean cohort. We followed for an average of 6.1 y 9318 adults without previous chronic disease at baseline. Validated data on diet including alcohol consumption were collected at baseline. Weight was recorded at baseline and updated every 2 y during follow-up. The outcomes were average weight gained every year and incidence of overweight/obesity after a 6-y follow-up. During follow-up, 1006 incident cases of overweight/obesity were identified in participants with normal weight at baseline. Beer and spirits consumption (≥7 drinks/wk) was associated with a +119 g/y (95% confidence interval +27 to +212) higher average yearly weight gain after adjusting for relevant confounders. It was also associated with a higher risk of developing overweight/obesity compared with non-drinkers. No association between wine consumption and yearly weight change or the risk of developing overweight/obesity was apparent. The type of alcoholic beverage can modulate the effect of alcohol intake on the risk of developing overweight/obesity.
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    • "Beer was the most frequently used beverage (67.4%), followed by vodka (63.2%) and wine (39.5%). Studies report that higher education among women is related to increased alcohol consumption [13, 15, 18], and women living in central/urban settings may consume as much as 50% more than women in rural settings [13]. "
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    • "Nevertheless, calculation of BMI and mass/height indices does not account for observed differences in body shape in recent humans (Norgan, 1994b; Young (2007)), primarily manifested as ecogeographically mediated variance in limb/trunk proportions (Roberts, 1978; Roberts and Bainbridge, 1963; Holliday and Ruff, 1997; Ruff, 2002; Young (2007)). Body frame indices (Ruff, 2002) do account for observed variance in body proportions but have yet to be widely adopted (but see Velásquez- Meléndez et al., 2005; Kusuma et al., 2008; Skrzypczak et al., 2008). "
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