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The significance of socio-economic characteristics for adult seasonal body-weight fluctuations: a study in north-western Benin

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2007

Marti J. Van Liere
Department of Human Nutrition, Agricultural University of Wageningen, PO Box 8129, 6700 EV Wageningen, The Netherlands
Eric-Alain D. Ategbo
Department of Human Nutrition and Food Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, National University of Benin, PO Box 526, Cotonou, Republic of Benin
Jan Hoorweg
Africun Studies Centre, PO Box 9555, 2300 RB Leiden, The Netherlands
Adel P. Den Hartog
Africun Studies Centre, PO Box 9555, 2300 RB Leiden, The Netherlands
Joseph G. A. J. Hautvast
Department of Human Nutrition, Agricultural University of Wageningen, PO Box 8129, 6700 EV Wageningen, The Netherlands
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Large variations in seasonal body-weight fluctuations have been described for individuals from different households living and working under comparable circumstances. In the present study the relationship between socio-economic household characteristics and seasonal body-weight fluctuations of individual members of rural Beninese households were studied. No significant correlation was found for body-weight fluctuation between the two study years, nor for body-weight fluctuation of men and women belonging to the same household. When comparing dichotomized socio-economic classes for relative body-weight fluctuation of men and women in both study years, no consistent trends were observed for both years nor for both sexes. The distribution of subjects with a consistent high weight fluctuation over the two study years did not differ between socio-economic groups. In conclusion it may be stated that there were no indications that socio-economic characteristics play a determining role in the magnitude of body-weight fluctuation of this study population, despite the large variations observed in the latter. Therefore it is most likely that other factors decide the weight fluctuations of individuals, health and sanitation being the most likely candidates.

Seasonal fluctuations in body weight in rural Benin
Copyright © The Nutrition Society 1994



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