Socioeconomic position and risk of short-term weight gain: prospective study of 14,619 middle-aged men and women

Lisa R Purslow, Elizabeth H Young, Nicholas J Wareham, Nita Forouhi, Eric J Brunner, Robert N Luben, Ailsa A Welch, Kay-Tee Khaw, Shelia A Bingham, Manjinder S Sandhu

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Abstract

Background The association between socioeconomic position in middle age and risk of subsequent, short-term weight gain is unknown. We therefore assessed this association in a prospective population based cohort study in Norfolk, UK. Methods We analysed data on 14,619 middle-aged men and women (aged between 40–75 at baseline) with repeated objective measures of weight and height at baseline (1993–1997) and follow up (1998–2000). Results During follow up 5,064 people gained more than 2.5 kg. Compared with the highest social class, individuals in the lowest social class had around a 30% greater risk of gaining more than 2.5 kg (OR 1.29; 95% CI 1.11–1.51; p for trend = 0.002). This association remained statistically significant following adjustment for sex, age, baseline BMI, smoking, and follow up time (OR 1.25; CI 1.07–1.46; p for trend <0.001). We also found no material difference between unadjusted models and those including all confounders and potential mediators. Conclusion Individuals of low socioeconomic position are at greatest risk of gaining weight during middle age, which is not explained by classical correlates of socioeconomic position and risk factors for obesity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2008

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Great Britain
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Questionnaires
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Class
  • Weight Gain

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