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Hospitality and Dietetic Administration

First Advisor

Mary G. Roseman


The growing prevalence of overweight and obesity among United States (U.S.) elderly people today is a health concern. Higher incidences of obesity and obesity-related health conditions and mortality exist in the southern area of the U.S. Understanding obesity in relation to obesity-related factors in this population is crucial. The purpose of this study was to identify regional differences and associations between obesity and obesity-related factors in Southern U.S. elderly people, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, using data from the 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an existing telephone health survey administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Through frequency tests, chi-square tests, and a multinomial logistic regression, the results revealed no regional difference in weight status among U.S. elderly people. However, multinomial logistic regression indicated some consistent associations with weight status among Southern U.S. elderly people. Males, Blacks and married elderly people, along with those diagnosed with high cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension were associated with both overweight and obesity. Associations found between Southern U.S. elderly people who were overweight or obese and obesity-related factors support the need to continue to encourage elderly people living in the South to control their weight.