BMI Changes in Russian Adults: The Role of Health Related Behaviors and Spousal Relationships
The paper investigates the effects of changes in marital status and health related behaviors (smoking and drinking) on the body mass index (BMI) in Russian adults over a ten-year period. Smoking and drinking behavior changes have played an important part in health status changes over 1994 to 2004. The results indicate that the individual weight/BMI changes asymmetrically in health determinants; the sign and the magnitude of the response are different depending on the starting point and whether there is an increase or a decrease in the explanatory variable. Males BMI decreases with smoking and increases with quitting smoking, but females BMI increases with drinking alcohol and decreases with stopping drinking. Losing a partner decreases only the females BMI, but gaining a spouse/partner is associated with increases in BMI for both genders. For married females and males, the change in spousal BMI is significantly positively related. Understanding interactions between individual health-related behaviors and the set of determinants that contribute to such behaviors is a fundamental step in the design of effective interventions.
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