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The role of body height as a co-factor of excess weight in Switzerland


Rickenbacher, Marc; Gültekin, Nejla; Stanga, Zeno; Bender, Nicole; Staub, Kaspar; Wells, Jonathan C; Matthes, Katarina L; Reber, Emile (2022). The role of body height as a co-factor of excess weight in Switzerland. American Journal of Human Biology, 34(8):e23754.

Abstract

Object: Excess weight (Body Mass Index [BMI] ≥25.0 kg/m2 ) is a major health issue worldwide, including in Switzerland. For high-income countries, little attention has been paid to body height in context of excess weight. The aim of this study is to assess the importance of body height as a co-factor for excess weight in multiple large nationwide data sets.
Data and methods: In this comparative study, we included the largest nationwide and population-based studies in the fields of public health, nutrition and economics for Switzerland, as well as data of the medical examination during conscription for the Swiss Armed Forces, which contained information on BMI and, if possible, waist-to-height-ratio (WHtR) and waist-to-hip-ratio (WHR).
Results: The multinomial logistic regressions show that the probability of belonging to the excess weight category (BMI ≥25.0 kg/m2 ) decreased with increasing height in both sexes inall contemporary data sets. This negative association was shown to be constant, only among conscripts measured in the 1870s the association was positive, when increasing height was associated with a higher BMI. The negative association not only emerge in BMI, but also in WHtR and WHR.
Conclusion: Our results emphasize the importance of body height as a co-factor of excess weight, suggesting a clear negative association between height and BMI, WHtR and WHR. Evidence indicates that both early-life environmental exposures and alleles associated with height may contribute to these associations. This knowledge could serve as further starting points for prevention programs in the field of public health.

Abstract

Object: Excess weight (Body Mass Index [BMI] ≥25.0 kg/m2 ) is a major health issue worldwide, including in Switzerland. For high-income countries, little attention has been paid to body height in context of excess weight. The aim of this study is to assess the importance of body height as a co-factor for excess weight in multiple large nationwide data sets.
Data and methods: In this comparative study, we included the largest nationwide and population-based studies in the fields of public health, nutrition and economics for Switzerland, as well as data of the medical examination during conscription for the Swiss Armed Forces, which contained information on BMI and, if possible, waist-to-height-ratio (WHtR) and waist-to-hip-ratio (WHR).
Results: The multinomial logistic regressions show that the probability of belonging to the excess weight category (BMI ≥25.0 kg/m2 ) decreased with increasing height in both sexes inall contemporary data sets. This negative association was shown to be constant, only among conscripts measured in the 1870s the association was positive, when increasing height was associated with a higher BMI. The negative association not only emerge in BMI, but also in WHtR and WHR.
Conclusion: Our results emphasize the importance of body height as a co-factor of excess weight, suggesting a clear negative association between height and BMI, WHtR and WHR. Evidence indicates that both early-life environmental exposures and alleles associated with height may contribute to these associations. This knowledge could serve as further starting points for prevention programs in the field of public health.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Anatomy
Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Social Sciences & Humanities > Anthropology
Life Sciences > Genetics
Uncontrolled Keywords:Genetics, Anthropology, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, Anatomy
Language:English
Date:1 August 2022
Deposited On:01 Jul 2022 06:54
Last Modified:27 Feb 2024 02:42
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1042-0533
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.23754
PubMed ID:35488790
Project Information:
  • : FunderBundesamt für Gesundheit
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderBundesamt für Lebensmittelsicherheit und Veterinärwesen
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)