The Association Between Veteran Status and Obesity Differs Across Race/Ethnicity

Adolfo G. Cuevas, Leslie E. Cofie, Sarah Nolte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study aims to evaluate the interaction between veteran status and race/ethnicity on obesity status. Design: Cross-sectional survey Setting: The 2013–2017 National Health Interview Survey Sample: A total of 151,765 adults (8.62% veterans and 91.38 nonveterans) with 69.30% identifying as White, 13.05% identifying as Hispanic, 12.57% identifying as Black, and 5.08% identifying as Asian Measures: Obesity status (measured using self-reported body mass index), race/ethnicity, survey year, age, marital status, educational attainment, federal poverty level, health insurance, type of insurance, self-reported health status, and whether participant had a usual care source. Analysis: Weighted logistic regression analysis Results: In a fully adjusted model, there was no evidence that veterans overall had higher odds of obesity compared to nonveterans (adjusted odd ratio (aOR): 1.05, 95% CI:.99, 1.11). White veterans had lower odds of obesity compared to White nonveterans (OR:.93, 95% CI:.87,.98). Hispanic veterans had higher odds of obesity compared to Hispanic nonveterans (aOR: 1.53, 95% CI: 1.23, 1.90). There was no evidence of an association between veteran status and obesity status for Black and Asian adults. Conclusions: Effectual prevention strategies are needed to decrease obesity risks among active and retired Hispanic veterans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-317
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • disparities
  • obesity
  • racial/ethnic minority group
  • veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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