Sex Differences Independent of Other Psycho-sociodemographic Factors as a Predictor of Body Mass Index in Black South African Adults

Authors

  • Annamarie Kruger Africa Unit for Transdisciplinary Health Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus), Potchefstroom
  • Maria P Wissing Africa Unit for Transdisciplinary Health Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus), Potchefstroom
  • Gordon W Towers Centre of Excellence for Nutrition, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus), Potchefstroom
  • Colleen M Doak Department of Health Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3329/jhpn.v30i1.11277

Keywords:

Body mass index, Body-weight, Cross-sectional studies, Gender, Overweight, Obesity, Sex difference, South Africa

Abstract

To better understand the sex differences in body mass index (BMI) observed in black South African adults in the Transition and Health during Urbanization of South Africans Study, the present study investigated whether these differences can be explained by the psycho-sociodemographic factors and/or health-related behaviours. A cross-sectional survey was undertaken among 1,842 black South African individuals from 37 study sites that represented five levels of urbanization. The behavioural factors that possibly could have    an influence on the outcome of body-weight and that were explored included: diet, smoking, level of education, HIV infection, employment status, level of urbanization, intake of alcohol, physical activity,    and neuroticism. The biological factors explored were age and sex. The prevalence of underweight, normal weight, and overweight among men and women was separately determined. The means of the variables    were compared by performing Students t-test for normally-distributed variables and Mann-Whitney Utest for non-normally-distributed variables. The means for the underweight and overweight groups were    tested for significant differences upon comparison with normal-weight individuals stratified separately for sex. The differences in prevalence were tested using chi-square tests (p<0.05). All the variables with a large  number of missing values were tested for potential bias. The association between sex and underweight or overweight was tested using the Mantel-Haenszel method of odds ratio (OR) and calculation of 95% confidence interval (CI), with statistical significance set at p<0.05 level. Logistic regression was used for controlling    for confounders and for testing for effect modification. Females were more likely to be overweight/obese (crude OR=5.1; CI 3.8-6.8). The association was attenuated but remained strong and significant even after controlling for the psycho-sociodemographic confounders. In this survey, the risk for overweight/obesity was strongly related to sex and not to the psycho-sociodemographic external factors investigated. It is, thus, important to understand the molecular roots of sex- and gender-specific variability in distribution of BMI as this is central to the future development of treatment and prevention programmes against overweight/obesity.

 

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3329/jhpn.v30i1.11277

 

J HEALTH POPUL NUTR 2012 Mar;30(1):56-65

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Published

2012-07-17

How to Cite

Kruger, A., Wissing, M. P., Towers, G. W., & Doak, C. M. (2012). Sex Differences Independent of Other Psycho-sociodemographic Factors as a Predictor of Body Mass Index in Black South African Adults. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, 30(1), 56–65. https://doi.org/10.3329/jhpn.v30i1.11277

Issue

Section

Review Article