IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/socmed/v59y2004i12p2421-2434.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

A multilevel analysis of race, community disadvantage, and body mass index among adults in the US

Author

Listed:
  • Robert, Stephanie A.
  • Reither, Eric N.

Abstract

This study examined the contributions of both individual socioeconomic status (SES) and community disadvantage in explaining the higher body mass index (BMI) of black adults in the US. Data from a national survey of adults (1986 American's Changing Lives Study) were combined with tract-level community data from the 1980 census. Results of multilevel regression analyses showed that black women had an age-adjusted BMI score three points higher than non-black women. Individual SES (income, education, assets) was negatively associated with BMI in women, but it only reduced the association between race and BMI from 2.99 to 2.50. Adding community socioeconomic disadvantage index further reduced the race coefficient slightly from 2.50 to 2.21. Nevertheless, living in communities with higher socioeconomic disadvantage was associated with higher BMI net of age, race, individual SES, smoking, physical activity, stress, and social support. Community income inequality (Gini) had an independent positive association with BMI, but did not substantially reduce racial differences among women. Community percent black was not associated with BMI. Results for men demonstrated no statistically significant racial differences in BMI, and no association between BMI and either individual SES or community disadvantage. Although individual SES and community socioeconomic disadvantage each partly explained the higher average BMI among black women, clear racial disparities persisted. Moreover, race, individual SES, community socioeconomic disadvantage, and individual health behaviors were each independent predictors of BMI among women. Unexplained within- and between-community variance in BMI remained among both women and men, with most unexplained variation due to within-community variance. Because our evidence for women suggests that the determinants of obesity are multiple and multilevel, attempts to address this growing social problem will similarly require a multi-faceted and multilevel approach.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert, Stephanie A. & Reither, Eric N., 2004. "A multilevel analysis of race, community disadvantage, and body mass index among adults in the US," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(12), pages 2421-2434, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:59:y:2004:i:12:p:2421-2434
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277-9536(04)00166-2
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:59:y:2004:i:12:p:2421-2434. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.