Eating patterns may mediate the association between marital status, body mass index, and blood cholesterol levels in apparently healthy men and women from the ATTICA study.
ABSTRACT Marital status has been recognized as a significant health-influencing factor, including cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. The aim of the present paper was to evaluate whether eating habits mediate the relationship between marital status and levels of CVD risk factors among apparently healthy men and women from the ATTICA Study. During 2001-2002, we randomly enrolled 1514 men (18-87 years old) and 1528 women (18-89 years old) from the Attica area, Greece; the sampling was stratified by the age-gender distribution of the region. Participants underwent clinical, anthropometric and psychological assessment. Food consumption was assessed through a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Participants were classified as never married, married, divorced and widowed. Discriminant analysis revealed that vegetable consumption, followed by red meat, potatoes, poultry, and soft drinks were the factors with the higher discriminating ability among the food groups studied. In particular, dietary patterns of never married participants were characterized by the consumption of potatoes and red meat, those of married participants by nuts, legumes and fish, those of divorced participants by fruits, cereals and soft drinks, whereas those of widowed participants by dairy, vegetables, sweets and poultry. In addition, never married and divorced participants reported eating fast-foods more frequently and drink less alcohol compared to married or widowed participants. After controlling for potential confounders (i.e., age, gender, physical activity, anxiety score and smoking habits), the reported marital status of the participants was associated only with body mass index and total serum cholesterol levels. When the analysis was repeated after taking into account the information on dietary habits by creating four "new" dietary-adjusted marital status groups, no significant association was revealed between marital status and body mass index and blood cholesterol levels. This finding implies that, in our population, eating patterns may explain the observed differences between marital status and selected CVD risk factors.
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ABSTRACT: Numerous studies show that married individuals enjoy better health than those who were never married. This representative survey examines whether they also have a healthier body mass index (BMI) and weight-related behaviors, and tests four independent explanations. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with representative samples (N = 4555) from nine European countries (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, UK). On average, never married respondents had a lower BMI than married respondents (p = .048). Married individuals reported stronger preferences for organic/fair trade food and regional/unprocessed food, and paying less attention to dietary convenience or dietary fat and body weight. Importantly, married men also exercised less (all ps < .05). Despite these behavioral differences, only attention to dietary fat and body weight (p = .001) predicted BMI differently for married versus never married men. There were few country differences in the relationship between marital status and BMI. All analyses were controlled for age and socio-economic status. In conclusion, despite more favorable eating-related cognitions and behaviors, married respondents had a higher BMI than never married respondents, but differences were small. The link between marital status and BMI cannot be fully described by one single explanation. Obesity interventions may benefit from considering specific weight-related behaviors in married versus never married individuals. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.Social Science & Medicine 06/2015; 138:119-127. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.06.001 · 2.56 Impact Factor
- Current Opinion in Lipidology 11/2008; 19(5):538-40. DOI:10.1097/MOL.0b013e32830f4a7d · 5.80 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this paper is to explore the difficulty faced by consumers in complying with health-related dietary guidelines, focusing on those guidelines that consumers find it more/less difficult to meet and the factors driving the ability to make associated dietary changes. Participants reported self-assessed compliance with 12 dietary recommendations predominantly directed at reducing the risk of heart disease. The difficulty of complying with each of the dietary guidelines was measured using a Rasch model, while the determinants of ability to comply with the dietary recommendations as a whole were identified using regression analysis. The more difficult dietary recommendations included limiting consumption of red meats and consuming the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables. Attitudinal variables associated with food, nutrition and health, perception of cholesterol risk and a range of socio-demographic variables, including age, gender and education, were significant determinants of person ability to comply with the dietary recommendations. The results show that there are significant differences in the difficulty faced by consumers in complying with particular dietary recommendations, while there is substantial variation in the ability to eat a healthy diet across participants.Appetite 09/2009; 54(1):52-61. DOI:10.1016/j.appet.2009.09.006 · 2.69 Impact Factor