The influence of environment on severe obesity
Daines, Maria Matthews
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Objective. Explore environmental influences associated with severe obesity in context of family aggregation for obesity.Design. "Familial" families were required to have at least two severely obese (SO) (BMI of 35 kg/m$\sp2$ or greater) siblings with one normal weight (NW) (BMI of 27 kg/m$\sp2$ or less) sibling. "Nonfamilial" families were required to contain only one SO sibling with all other first degree relatives meeting NW criteria (BMI of 27 kg/m$\sp2$ or less), and at least two NW siblings.Setting. Data collection occurred over 36-months (January 1994 through December 1996) at Cardiovascular Genetics, University of Utah.Subjects. Ninety-two familial and 53 nonfamilial sibships.Main outcome measures. Anthropometrics, physiological and emotional well-being, dietary intake, and activity level.Statistical analysis performed. Repeated measures analysis of variance tested for differences between SO and NW participants. T-tests compared differences between familial and nonfamilial SO individuals and between familial and nonfamilial NW individuals. A t-test compared mean intrapair differences (MID) between SO and NW siblings in nonfamilial and familial pedigrees.Results. BMI was 3 kg/m$\sp2$ greater in SO familial versus SO nonfamilial participants (p $<$ 0.05) and 3.2 kg/m$\sp2$ greater in familial NW versus nonfamilial NW participants (p $<$ 0.05). The SO subjects had higher percent fat and total caloric intake and lower weight-adjusted total caloric intake and activity calorie expenditure (weight-adjusted) when compared to NW subjects. Mean environmental measures between SO and NW subjects and MID between familial and nonfamilial SO and NW sibs did not differ.Conclusion. Comparative analysis of SO and NW siblings demonstrate severe obesity to be associated with lower levels of perceived physical and emotional well-being, nutrient intake and physical activity. Further, environmental influences (life quality, nutrient intake, and physical activity) between familial and nonfamilial severe obesity families were similar when comparing SO and NW as well as MID of SO-NW. These data suggest similar genetic, environmental and interactive factors to be operative in the development of severe obesity among familial and nonfamilial severe obesity families.
- Nutritional sciences