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

Harokopio University, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, El. Venizelou 70, Athens 17671, Greece.
Social Science & Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.89). 07/2008; 66(11):2230-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2008.01.051
Source: PubMed


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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    • "What explains this difference in BMI? Few previous studies have examined potentially weight-related cognitions or health behaviors as explanations for the link between BMI and marital status (e.g., Yannakoulia et al., 2008). To help fill this gap, we investigated the frequency of different eating-and exercise-related cognitions and behaviors. "
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Social Science & Medicine
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    • "Conversely, few studies have shown a significant influence of these two factors on dietary quality. These studies have reported healthier dietary habits among married people [44] and those living in extended families as result of a supportive environment [31]. These disparities can be explained by the fact that participants in our study were mostly single or married and lived in nuclear families. "
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    ABSTRACT: A healthy diet is of particular concern throughout the life of women to avoid many chronic illnesses especially during their 30s to 50s. There are published data on dietary quality and its determinants among women, but there is a lack of similar data regarding women in Mauritius. This study aimed to investigate the association between age and dietary quality in relation to sociodemographic factors, physical activity level (PAL) and nutritional knowledge (NK). A survey-based study was conducted in 2012 among Indo-Mauritian women including 117 young (21.35 ± 1.98), 160 reaching middle age (34.02 ± 5.09) and 50 middle-aged (37.85 ± 8.32). Validated questionnaires were used to elicit information on the determinants. A food frequency table consisting of 18 food items was used to assess dietary quality. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to determine the association between various factors and dietary quality. The mean dietary score of middle-aged women (18.70 ± 2.67) was closer to recommended dietary guidelines compared to young women (17.22 ± 3.40), and women reaching middle age (17.55 ± 3.29). Educational level, PAL, NK, and age were main determinants of dietary quality among Indo-Mauritian women (P < 0.05). Younger women with low educational level, PAL, and NK are at risk of poor dietary quality.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Journal of nutrition and metabolism

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