Differences in eating and activity markers among normal weight, overweight, and obese rural women

Carol H Pullen, Susan Noble Walker, Patricia A. Hageman, Linda S. Boeckner, Maureen K. Oberdorfer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine differences in healthy eating and physical activity behaviors and associated biomarkers among normal weight (body mass index [BMI] < 25), overweight (BMI 25-29.9), and obese (BMI ≥ 30) rural women. Methods: Random digit dialing was used to recruit 225 rural women (57.9 ± 5.6 years). Measures of healthy eating and physical activity were completed on the computer during individual sessions at the rural sites. Research nurses then assessed a battery of biomarkers of activity and eating, including blood lipids, blood pressure, cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2max), and resting heart rate. Results: Major findings were differences across weight categories in daily calories consumed and expended, daily fruit servings, daily meat group servings, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, vital signs, and cardiorespiratory fitness. The obese women both consumed and expended significantly more calories daily than those in the other two weight groups. Obese women consumed significantly fewer fruit group servings than both the normal weight and overweight women. Obese women consumed significantly more meat group servings than overweight women. There also were significant differences in systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, resting heart rate, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and cardiorespiratory fitness across the three weight groups. Conclusions: This study provides evidence of major differences in some eating and activity behaviors and biomarkers across BMI groups. Major differences exist between the normal weight and overweight group as compared to the obese group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-215
Number of pages7
JournalWomen's Health Issues
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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