Body mass index, waist to hip ratio and waist/height in adult Polish women in relation to their education, place of residence, smoking and alcohol consumption.Homo 2008; 59(4):329-42HOMO
Obesity is a complex, multifactorial disorder that develops from genotype and environmental interactions. The aim of this study is to describe the variability of body mass index (BMI), waist to hip ratio (WHR) and waist to height (W/Ht) in adult Polish women, and to determine relationships between these variables and factors such as education, place of residence, smoking and alcohol drinking. The tested group consisted of 10,254 women aged 25-95 years, who voluntarily filled in questionnaires and participated in anthropometric measurements (body height and mass, waist and hip circumferences). The BMI, WHR and W/Ht values were calculated based on these measurements. The participants were differentiated in terms of education, residence and lifestyle (smoking, alcohol drinking). Chi-squared test, product-moment correlations, ANOVA, multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) and logistic regression with backward elimination were used to evaluate associations between social and lifestyle factors and BMI, WHR and W/Ht. The results confirm (1) the relationship between low social status and the risk of overweight and obesity as observed in developed countries; (2) higher susceptibility to environmental factors such as education, place of residence, smoking and alcohol drinking in younger (premenopausal) women; (3) the usefulness of simple and practical anthropometric indicators such as WHR and W/Ht for the identification of the higher risk of future metabolic diseases in obese people and those with a normal body mass.