Supplementary Material for: BMI Trends, Socioeconomic Status, and the Choice of Dataset
datasetposted on 02.03.2012, 00:00 by Grabner M.
Objective:This study is a descriptive investigation of trends in BMI in the USA over time, across race/ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status (SES) groups, and across different datasets. Methods: The study analyzes micro-level data from three widely used cross-sectional US health datasets: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), from the 1970s to 2008. Consistent race/ethnicity and SES groups are constructed for all datasets. SES is measured by education and income. Focusing on adults aged 20–74 years, the study estimates BMI time trends, distributional shifts, and incremental associations (gradients) with SES. Results: SES-BMI gradients are consistently larger for women than for men, differ across race/ethnicity groups, and are similar across datasets. Trends in mean BMI are comparable across White, Black and Hispanic males, while Hispanic females range between White and Black females. Self-reported BMI in the NHANES differs markedly from self-reports in the NHIS and BRFSS. Conclusion: The NHANES, NHIS, and BRFSS provide similar evidence regarding BMI trends over time and across race/ethnicity, gender, and SES groups. Racial disparities in BMI remain after adjusting for SES and should be studied further.