Does the Prescriptive Lifestyle of Seventh-day Adventists Provide Immunity from the Secular Effects of Changes in BMI?

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© The Authors 2008

Used by permission: Cambridge University Press


Objective: To examine the effect of Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) membership on ‘immunity’ to the secular effects of changes in BMI.

Design: Three independent, cross-sectional, screening surveys conducted by Sydney Adventist Hospital in 1976, 1986 and 1988 and a survey conducted among residents of Melbourne in 2006.

Subjects: Two hundred and fifty-two SDA and 464 non-SDA in 1976; 166 SDA and 291 non-SDA in 1986; 120 SDA and 300-non SDA in 1988; and 251 SDA and 294 non-SDA in 2006.

Measurements: Height and weight measured by hospital staff in 1976, 1986 and 1988; self-reported by respondents in 2006.

Results: The mean BMI of non-SDA men increased between 1986 and 2006 (P

Conclusion: The ‘prudent’ dietary and lifestyle prescriptions of SDA men appear to have ‘immunised’ them to the secular effects of changes that occurred among non-SDA men’s BMI. The dietary and lifestyle trends of SDA women did not reflect the increase in their BMI observed in 2006.

diet, lifestyle, body mass index, physical activity

Kent, L. M., & Worsley, A. (2009). Does the prescriptive lifestyle of Seventh-day Adventists provide immunity from the secular effects of changes in BMI? Public Health Nutrition, 12(4), 472-480. doi:10.1017/S1368980008002334

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