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The relationship between social network body size and the body size norms of Black and Hispanic adults

By Ginger Winston, Erica Phillips, Elaine Wethington, Martin Wells, Carol M. Devine, Janey Peterson, Brian Wansink, Rosio Ramos and Mary Charlson

Abstract

Objective: To examine the relationship between the body size norms of Black and Hispanic adults and the body sizes of their social network members. Methods: Egocentric network data were examined for 245 adults recruited from 2012–2013 in New York City. A multivariable regression model was used to examine the relationship between participants' perception of normal body size and the body sizes of their network members adjusted for participant age, education, race/ethnicity and network size. Participants' body size norms were also examined stratified by the following characteristics of obese network members: frequency of contact, living proximity, relationship, and importance of relationship. Results: Index participants were 89% female with mean body mass index 33.5 kg/m2. There were 2571 network members identified (31% overweight, 10% obese). In the fully adjusted multivariable model, perception of normal body size increased as the number of network members with obesity increased (p < 0.01). Larger body size norms were associated with increased frequency of contact with obese network members (p = 0.04), and obese members living in the home (p = 0.049). Conclusions: These findings support a relationship between the body size norms of Black and Hispanic adults and their social network body size

Topics: Obesity, Social networks, Body image, Body size norms, Medicine, R
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2015.10.014
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:47b33b12499e4748aa61a56b7b185b51
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