Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Department name when degree awarded

Nutrition and Food Science

Committee Chair(s)

Arthur Mohoney


Arthur Mohoney


Ronald Pardini


Rex Hurst


Deloy Hendricks


C. A. Ernstrom


One of the primary purposes of the investigation was to examine the impact of a number of variables on the incidence of low birth weight in two states, Utah and Nevada, that have divergent low birth weight incidences. The sample size obtained from birth certificate data for this purpose was 51,147 (1969-1974) for Nevada and 26,464 (1970) and 29,422 (1974) for Utah. Additionally, separate analyses were made for Utah and Nevada data available for the year 1974. The respective sample sizes for this year were 29,422 (Utah) and 8,256 (Nevada). Least squares analysis indicated sex of the infant, race of the mother, age of the mother, parity, and county of residence were all significantly related (P < 0.01) to birth weight of the infant. Examination of the birth certificate data indicated, the unmarried, black adolescent is most apt to bear a low birth weight infant in both Utah and Nevada, but the incidence of young, black, unmarried adolescents is higher in Nevada accounting in part for the divergent overall incidence of low birth weight between the two states.

To supplement birth certificate information, additional questionnaire sampling was conducted in Utah and Nevada. Information on pregravid weight, pregnancy weight gain, protein intake, energy intake, smoking habits, socio-economic status, exercise patterns and over-the-counter drug use was obtained from 184 women (Utah = 88, Nevada = 96). Student's t-test, stepwise regression and least squares analysis indicated pregravid weight and pregnancy weight gain were the only variables significantly related (P < 0.01) to birth weight.