, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 217-230
Date: 06 Dec 2008

Obesogenic Clusters: Multidimensional Adolescent Obesity-related Behaviors in the U.S.

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Abstract

Background

Diet, physical activity, and psychosocial factors are independent and potentially interactive obesity determinants, but few studies have explored complex behavior patterns.

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine obesity-related behavior patterning and identify high-risk adolescent groups.

Methods

Cluster analysis identified groups with shared behavior patterns in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (1995 and 1996, ages 11–21; N = 9,251). Descriptive and multivariate regression analyses compared sociodemographics and prevalent and incident obesity across clusters.

Results

Seven and six clusters in males and females, respectively, represented behavior patterns such as School Clubs & Sports, Sedentary Behaviors, Dieters, and Junk Food & Low Activity. Sociodemographics varied across clusters. Compared to School Clubs & Sports clusters, adjusted odds of prevalent and incident obesity were higher for most clusters in females but not males.

Conclusions

Cluster analysis identified several obesogenic behavior patterns, highlighting areas for future research and potential avenues for interventions that target broad lifestyle factors.