Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Epidemiology & Community Health

First Advisor

Kate Lapane


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which the presence of social support correlates with attempts at weight loss in the past 12 months, attempts not to gain weight in the past 12 months, and participants’ satisfaction with their weight status. Methods: We used a cross-sectional study design using data collected by the 2003-2004 and 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) (CDC). For this study we included males and females, of multiple ethnicities, and a range of ages from 40 to 70 + years. Participants with missing data on height and weight were not included in the study. The final sample consisted of 3,982 participants. We defined social support using three domains: affiliation with religious organizations, relationships of trust, and social participation (Irwin J, et al., 2008). Weight loss attempts, weight maintenance attempts, and satisfaction were defined based on self-report. Analysis: We analyzed different classifications of social support in relation to three separate weight loss variables. The measure of association was an odds ratio. Logistic regression models provided odds ratios adjusted for potential confounders. All analyses were conducted in SUDAAN version 10 (RTI, Research Triangle Park, NC) to account for the complex survey design. Conclusion: Social support was not associated with weight loss variables. Various reasons for these results could include the age of the participants or the lack of questioning into the intensity of the social support being received.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2008

Included in

Epidemiology Commons