Urban–rural comparison of weight status among women and children living in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighbourhoods

Cleland, Verity, Hume, Clare, Crawford, David, Timperio, Anna, Hesketh, Kylie, Baur, Louise, Welch, Nicky, Salmon, Jo and Ball, Kylie 2010, Urban–rural comparison of weight status among women and children living in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighbourhoods, Medical journal of Australia, vol. 192, no. 3, pp. 137-140.

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Title Urban–rural comparison of weight status among women and children living in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighbourhoods
Author(s) Cleland, Verity
Hume, Clare
Crawford, David
Timperio, Anna
Hesketh, Kylie
Baur, Louise
Welch, Nicky
Salmon, Jo
Ball, Kylie
Journal name Medical journal of Australia
Volume number 192
Issue number 3
Start page 137
End page 140
Publisher Australasian Medical Publishing Company
Place of publication Sydney, N.S.W.
Publication date 2010-02-01
ISSN 0025-729X
1326-5377
Summary Objective: To compare the weight status of women and children living in socioeconomically disadvantaged rural and urban neighbourhoods in Victoria.

Design, setting and participants: Cross-sectional study of data collected between August 2007 and July 2008 as part of the Resilience for Eating and Activity Despite Inequality (READI) study. Women aged 18–45 years living in 40 rural and 40 urban socioeconomically disadvantaged Victorian areas were surveyed by postal questionnaire. Data from a subset of their children aged 5–12 years were also analysed. Weight and height were self-reported for women and measured for children.

Main outcome measures: Women’s weight status based on body mass index (BMI): underweight; healthy; overweight; or obese Class I, II or III; children’s weight status based on International Obesity Taskforce BMI cut-off points.

Results: Of 11 940 women randomly selected, 4934 (41%) replied to a postal invitation to participate. After exclusions for various reasons, data were available on 3879 women and 636 of their children. Twenty-four per cent of urban and 26% of rural women were classified as overweight; a further 19% of urban and 23% of rural women were classified as obese. Twenty per cent of both urban and rural children were classified as overweight; a further 10% of urban and rural children were classified as obese. In crude analyses, rural women had higher odds of Class I and II obesity (odds ratio [OR], 1.34 and 1.72, respectively) compared with urban women. After adjusting for sociodemographic factors (age, number of children, country of birth, education level, employment status and marital status), there was no difference between urban and rural women in odds of overweight or obesity Class I, II or III. No significant urban–rural difference in odds of overweight/obesity was evident among children.

Conclusions: The higher prevalence of obesity in rural women compared with urban women was largely explained by individual-level sociodemographic factors, such as age, number of children, country of birth, education level, employment status and marital status. This suggests that higher obesity levels among women in rural areas may be attributable to the sociodemographic composition of these areas.
Language eng
Field of Research 111706 Epidemiology
Socio Economic Objective 920408 Health Status (e.g. Indicators of Well-Being)
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2010, Australasian Medical Publishing Company
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30031293

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