Monday, September 20, 2004
singles at lowest risk for obesity
A story published today in The Scotsman
reports that the more people living in a household the higher the risk for
obesity the occupants have. Those who live alone are the least
likely demographic to be obese.
An American study found that women living in households with four or more
people were significantly more likely to be obese than those who lived by
were also more likely to be obese than those who remained single,
according to research published in BMC Family Practice.
lack of exercise and the increasing "couch potato" culture in the UK have
been blamed for a rising number of people becoming overweight or obese.
research, conducted by researchers from Texas Tech University Health
Sciences Centre, questioned almost 300 women who attended family planning
Almost half of
the women (47.8 per cent) were classified as being obese - defined as
having a body mass index (BMI) of over 30. But family circumstances
appeared to play a role in determining whether women were obese or not.
While only 32.5
per cent of those who lived alone were obese, this rose to 64.8 per cent
of women who lived in households of four or more people. They also found
that 44.7 per cent of people who lived with one or two other people were
respondents were also more likely to be obese than unmarried people - 58
per cent compared to 42.5 per cent.
Over 60 per cent
of women who did not have a high school education were obese, compared to
only 40 per cent of those who went on to study further than high school.
led by Professor James Rohrer, also found that women who received no
support from their parents were more likely to be obese than those who
received a lot or some parental support - 52.8 per cent compared to 42.7
"The reasons why
large families increase the risk of obesity are not entirely clear," Prof
Rohrer said. "One obvious mechanism is that larger households are more
likely to have greater volumes of food available."
Rates of obesity
among adults have almost quadrupled in the last 25 years in the UK, with
22 per cent of Britons now obese. The number of obese children has tripled
in 20 years.
that around 10 per cent of six-year-olds are obese, rising to 17 per cent
In the US, rates
of obesity are even higher, but experts believe it will not be long before
Britons catch up.
researchers said the results of their study should be considered
suggestive rather than definitive.
they have significance for public health practice related to weight
control," they said.