Determinants of body mass index: A study from Northern Italy

A. Tavani, E. Negri, C. La Vecchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Overweight and obesity are associated with increased mortality and morbidity, and human weight is influenced by multiple factors, both genetically and environmentally determined. We investigated the influence of some socioeconomic, behavioral, dietary and reproductive factors on body mass index (BMI). Data were obtained from a comparison group of a case-control study of gastrointestinal cancers from the four largest teaching and general hospitals in Milan, northern Italy. The subjects were 1,188 men and 832 women admitted between January 1985 and June 1992 to the hospitals under study for diseases other than malignant or digestive and not known or suspected to be related to alcohol or tobacco. The following were measured: BMI (Quetelet's index, weight, kg/height, m2) and the corresponding standard errors (s.e.) in strata of selected variables, linear regression coefficients (β) and correlation coefficients between BMI and each variable. Mean BMI increased with age until 35-44 years in men and 45-54 years in women. In both sexes BMI was inversely associated with education and social class. Smokers tended to be leaner than non-smokers, but no consistent trend was observed with increasing numbers of cigarettes. Alcohol drinkers had mean BMI similar to non-drinkers, except heavy drinking women who were lighter. BMI was not significantly associated with coffee, decaffeinated coffee, tea, bread, vegetable and fruit consumption. No relation was observed between total estimated caloric intake and BMI. In women BMI was directly associated with marriage and number of children, and inversely with oral contraceptive use. It was concluded that socioeconomic, behavioral and reproductive factors influence BMI in this Italian population, particularly in women. Reported diet appeared to have little influence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-502
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Volume18
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1994

Fingerprint

Italy
body mass index
Body Mass Index
Coffee
socioeconomics
alcohols
Alcohols
oral contraceptives
Weights and Measures
marriage
Gastrointestinal Neoplasms
cigarettes
Bread
vegetable consumption
fruit consumption
Tea
socioeconomic status
Oral Contraceptives
case-control studies
Energy Intake

Keywords

  • Behaviour
  • Body mass index
  • Italy
  • Reproduction
  • Socioeconomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Endocrinology
  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Cite this

Tavani, A., Negri, E., & La Vecchia, C. (1994). Determinants of body mass index: A study from Northern Italy. International Journal of Obesity, 18(7), 497-502.

Determinants of body mass index : A study from Northern Italy. / Tavani, A.; Negri, E.; La Vecchia, C.

In: International Journal of Obesity, Vol. 18, No. 7, 1994, p. 497-502.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tavani, A, Negri, E & La Vecchia, C 1994, 'Determinants of body mass index: A study from Northern Italy', International Journal of Obesity, vol. 18, no. 7, pp. 497-502.
Tavani, A. ; Negri, E. ; La Vecchia, C. / Determinants of body mass index : A study from Northern Italy. In: International Journal of Obesity. 1994 ; Vol. 18, No. 7. pp. 497-502.
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