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Whose socioeconomic status influences a women's obesity risk: her mother's, her father's, or her own?

Ball, Kylie and Mishra, Gita D. 2006, Whose socioeconomic status influences a women's obesity risk: her mother's, her father's, or her own?, International journal of epidemiology, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 131-138.

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Title Whose socioeconomic status influences a women's obesity risk: her mother's, her father's, or her own?
Author(s) Ball, Kylie
Mishra, Gita D.
Journal name International journal of epidemiology
Volume number 35
Issue number 1
Start page 131
End page 138
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2006
ISSN 0300-5771
1464-3685
Keyword(s) obesity
socioeconomic status
social mobility
Summary Background Evidence on the relative influence of childhood vs adulthood socioeconomic conditions on obesity risk is limited and equivocal. The objective of this study was to investigate associations of several indicators of mothers', fathers', and own socioeconomic status, and intergenerational social mobility, with body mass index (BMI) and weight change in young women.

Methods This population-based cohort study used survey data provided by 8756 women in the young cohort (aged 18–23 years at baseline) of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. In 1996 and 2000, women completed mailed surveys in which they reported their height and weight, and their own, mother's, and father's education and occupation.

Results Multiple linear regression models showed that both childhood and adulthood socioeconomic status were associated with women's BMI and weight change, generally in the hypothesized (inverse) direction, but the associations varied according to socioeconomic status and weight indicator. Social mobility was associated with BMI (based on father's socioeconomic status) and weight change (based on mother's socioeconomic status), but results were slightly less consistent.

Conclusions Results suggest lasting effects of childhood socioeconomic status on young women's weight status, independent of adult socioeconomic status, although the effect may be attenuated among those who are upwardly socially mobile. While the mechanisms underlying these associations require further investigation, public health strategies aimed at preventing obesity may need to target families of low socioeconomic status early in children's lives.


Notes Published online on November 12, 2005
Language eng
Field of Research 111706 Epidemiology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ┬ęThis is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication by International Journal of Epidemiology following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Ball, Kylie and Mishra, Gita D. 2006, Whose socioeconomic status influences a women's obesity risk: her mother's, her father's, or her own?, International journal of epidemiology, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 131-138, is available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyi216.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30003676

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.