Variations in Body Mass Index Among Older Americans: The Roles of Social and Lifestyle Factors Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To investigate the correlates of body mass index (BMI) among a national sample of older adults in the United States. METHOD: Data used in these analyses were part of the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Generalized ordered logistic regression was used to analyze difference between normal weight, overweight, moderately obese, and severely obese adults (n = 1,143) above the age of 65 years. RESULTS: A higher BMI was more common among those with greater activities of daily living (ADL) limitations, greater use of prescription medicines (≥ 7), greater number of cardiovascular-related disorders (1 or ≥ 2), and those aged 65 to 74 years. DISCUSSION: The findings acknowledge relationships between health characteristics, disability, and BMI among a national sample of older adults. These results suggest that prevention and management of health conditions, basic ADL, and BMI may be reasonable targets for intervention.

author list (cited authors)

  • Ahn, S., Sharkey, J. R., Smith, M. L., Ory, M. G., & Phillips, C. D.

citation count

  • 5

publication date

  • September 2010