Obesity epidemiology uses epidemiologic methods to examine both the determinants and consequences of obesity. Obesity is a complex measure that can be characterized as an exposure, outcome, confounder, or mediator. The study of obesity is inherently linked to both energy expenditure and energy consumption, i.e. energy balance, as well as social constructs and genetics.

Obesity and all-cause mortality among black and white adults
[entry-title]

In recent pooled analyses among whites and Asians, mortality was shown to rise markedly with increasing body mass index (BMI; weight (kg)/height (m)(2)), but much less is known about this association among blacks. This study prospectively examined all-cause mortality in relation to BMI among 22,014 black males, 9,343 white males, 30,810 black females, and 14,447 white females, aged 40-79 years, from the Southern Community Cohort Study, an epidemiologic cohort of largely low-income participants in 12 southeastern US states. Participants enrolled in the cohort from 2002 to 2009 and were followed up to 8.9 years. Hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for mortality were obtained from sex- and race-stratified Cox proportional hazards models in association with BMI at cohort entry, adjusting for age, education, income, cigarette smoking, and alcohol consumption. Elevated BMI was associated with increased mortality among whites (hazard ratios for BMI >40 vs. 20-24.9 = 1.37 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.02, 1.84) and 1.47 (95% CI: 1.15, 1.89) for white males and white females, respectively) but not significantly among blacks (hazard ratios = 1.13 (95% CI: 0.89, 1.43) and 0.87 (95% CI: 0.72, 1.04) for black males and black females, respectively). In this large cohort, obesity in mid-to-late adulthood […]

Read Article →
Serum adiponectin in relation to body mass index and other correlates in black and white women
[entry-title]

Adiponectin is a promising biomarker linking obesity and disease risk; however, limited data are available regarding adiponectin in black women among whom obesity is highly prevalent.  A cross-sectional analysis was conducted to assess racial differences and correlates of serum adiponectin measured in 996 black and 996 white women enrolled in the Southern Community Cohort Study through Community Health Centers in 12 southeastern states from 2002 to 2006. Black subjects had significantly lower adiponectin levels than white subjects (median 10.9 vs 14.9 μg/mL, Wilcoxon p < .0001). Among black subjects, adiponectin was lower among overweight and obese women compared with healthy weight women but showed no clear decreasing trend with increasing severity of obesity; adjusted geometric means (95% confidence interval) were 15.0 [13.8-16.4], 11.5 [10.6-12.5], 9.7 [9.0-10.6], 11.4 [10.3-12.6], and 10.9 [9.5-12.6] μg/mL for body mass index [BMI] categories of 18.5-24.9, 25-29.9, 30-34.9, 35-39.9, and 40-45, p for trend <.0001). In contrast, among whites there was a monotonic reduction in adiponectin over increasing BMI (adjusted geometric means = 19.9 [18.3-21.7], 15.1 [13.9-16.4], 14.3 [13.2-15.5], 12.5 [11.2-13.9], and 11.0 [9.7-12.5] μg/mL, p for trend <.0001). BMI, age, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and hypertension were important correlates of adiponectin in both groups.  Among women, […]

Read Article →