Household Composition, Income, and Body Mass Index Among Adults by Race/Ethnicity and Sex

This article was originally published here

J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2021 Jun 24. doi: 10.1007/s40615-021-01087-4. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: Disparities in obesity highlight the need for an examination of determinants that may be uniquely experienced by race and sex. An understudied factor is household composition with the potential for variation in its obesogenic impacts. This study examines the association between household composition and body mass index (BMI) among Black, Hispanic, and White adults and determines whether income moderates these associations.

METHODS: Using cross-sectional data from the 2011-2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the number of children and adults aged ≥ 60 years in the household were reported among non-Hispanic Black and White adults as well as Hispanic adults aged 20-59 years old. Multivariable linear regressions were used to assess the associations between household composition and BMI with income as a potential moderator.

RESULTS: Having multiple school-aged children was associated with higher BMI (β = 1.34, standard error (s.e.) = 0.50) among Hispanic men, while having older adults in the household was associated with lower BMI among Black women (β = – 3.21, s.e. = 1.42). Income moderated the associations between household composition and BMI among Black women and men. There were no associations between household composition and BMI in White women or men.

CONCLUSIONS: Future studies should further explicate the mechanisms of household composition that uniquely impact obesity outcomes among Black women and men by income. Efforts to address higher BMI among those with more young children in the household should target Hispanic men.

PMID:34165703 | DOI:10.1007/s40615-021-01087-4