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Differences in Overweight and Obesity between the North and South of China

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Objective: Determining geographical distribution and local dietary patterns involved in being obese is useful for designing intervention strategies. Methods: We selected residents between 18 and 65 years old from 11 Chinese provinces to compare dietary patterns and BMI from the China Health and Nutrition Survey packages in 2011. We used linear and logistic regression analyses to assess the strength of association among geographic variables, the obesity problem, and dietary patterns. Results: The overall prevalence of overweight and obesity in the North was 10.51% higher than that in the South. Northern dietary patterns feature a high intake of wheat and soybeans, whereas southern dietary patterns feature a high intake of rice, vegetables, meat, and poultry. The estimated coefficient of regional variables on dietary score is 1.49, the estimated coefficient of regional variables on the odds ratio for being overweight is 1.68 and for being obese is 2.04. Multivariate logistic regression including both variables of South-North areas and northern dietary patterns showed a significant correlation with being overweight or obese. Conclusions: Northern areas and their local dietary patterns are more likely to contribute to overweight and obesity. Our study provides empirical evidence for policies that target the ''obesogenic'' environment and promote opportunities for persons to access healthy dietary patterns and nutritional balance.
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Keywords: DIETARY PATTERNS; GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION; OBESITY; OVERWEIGHT; SOUTH-NORTH DIVISION OFCHINA

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Daisheng Tang, Professor, School of Economics and Management, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, China 2: Tao Bu, PhD Candidate, School of Economics and Management, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, China;, Email: [email protected] 3: Qundi Feng, PhD Candidate, College of Economics and Management, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China 4: Yahong Liu, PhD Candidate, School of Economics and Management, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, China 5: Xuefan Dong, Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Economics and Management, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, China

Publication date: November 1, 2020

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

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