Energy intake and other determinants of relative weight

I. Romieu, W. C. Willett, M. J. Stampfer, G. A. Colditz, L. Sampson, B. Rosner, C. H. Hennekens, F. E. Speizer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

281 Scopus citations


The relationships of relative weight to energy intake and to physical activity were studied among 141 females aged 34-59 y. As observed in previous studies Quetelet index (wt/ht2) was inversely related to energy intake (r = -0.11). However, obese women tended to be older (r = 0.16), exercise less (r = -0.30), and drink less alcohol (r = -0.16) than nonobese women. Older women had lower energy intake (r = -0.23) and exercised less (r = -0.12) than younger women. Energy intake and physical activity were positively related (r = 0.23). After adjustment for age, physical activity, alcohol, and smoking, the inverse correlation between relative weight and energy intake was significantly reduced (p = 0.04) from r = -0.11 to r = -0.02. Obese women reported higher intakes of total fat, and relative weight was significantly correlated with intakes of total fat (r = 0.20) and saturated fatty acids (r = 0.16). These data highlight the importance of considering factors that may confound the relationship between energy intake and obesity, and they suggest that fat intake may play a role in obesity that is independent of total energy intake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-412
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988


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