Social relationships and longitudinal changes in body mass index and waist circumference: The coronary artery risk development in young adults study

Academic Article


  • Few studies have examined longitudinal associations between close social relationships and weight change. Using data from 3,074 participants in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study who were examined in 2000, 2005, and 2010 (at ages 33-45 years in 2000), we estimated separate logistic regression random-effects models to assess whether patterns of exposure to supportive and negative relationships were associated with 10% or greater increases in body mass index (BMI) (weight (kg)/height (m)2) and waist circumference. Linear regression random-effects modeling was used to examine associations of social relationships with mean changes in BMI and waist circumference. Participants with persistently high supportive relationships were significantly less likely to increase their BMI values and waist circumference by 10% or greater compared with those with persistently low supportive relationships after adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics, baseline BMI/waist circumference, depressive symptoms, and health behaviors. Persistently high negative relationships were associated with higher likelihood of 10% or greater increases in waist circumference (odds ratio = 1.62, 95% confidence interval: 1.15, 2.29) and marginally higher BMI increases (odds ratio = 1.50, 95% confidence interval: 1.00, 2.24) compared with participants with persistently low negative relationships. Increasingly negative relationships were associated with increases in waist circumference only. These findings suggest that supportive relationships may minimize weight gain, and that adverse relationships may contribute to weight gain, particularly via central fat accumulation. © 2014 The Author.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kershaw KN; Hankinson AL; Liu K; Reis JP; Lewis CE; Loria CM; Carnethon MR
  • Start Page

  • 567
  • End Page

  • 575
  • Volume

  • 179
  • Issue

  • 5