Socioeconomic Status and Obesity

Lindsay McLaren

in The Oxford Handbook of the Social Science of Obesity

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199736362
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Socioeconomic Status and Obesity

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This chapter deals with the socioeconomic disparities in overweight and obesity. It first provides an overview of the association(s) between socioeconomic status (SES) and obesity as informed by the significant number of cross-sectional and longitudinal studies available, followed by a discussion of mediators or mechanisms that may underlie the observed associations. The most consistent association observed, based on reviews to date, is that of an inverse relationship between SES and obesity among women in the developed world. Consistent socioeconomic patterning of obesity exists, and does not just reflect economic or material factors. Given that socioeconomic patterning of weight persists and is perhaps widening, it is important that prevention initiatives incorporate evaluation not just of overall impact, but of differential impact by SES and other axes of social stratification.

Keywords: socioeconomic status; obesity; women; socioeconomic patterning; social stratification

Article.  6064 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Health, Education, and Welfare

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