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The mediating role of dietary factors and leisure time physical activity on socioeconomic inequalities in body mass index among Australian adults

Gearon, Emma, Backholer, Kathryn, Hodge, Allison and Peeters, Anna 2013, The mediating role of dietary factors and leisure time physical activity on socioeconomic inequalities in body mass index among Australian adults, BMC public health, vol. 13, Article number: 1214, pp. 1-16, doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-1214.

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Title The mediating role of dietary factors and leisure time physical activity on socioeconomic inequalities in body mass index among Australian adults
Author(s) Gearon, Emma
Backholer, KathrynORCID iD for Backholer, Kathryn orcid.org/0000-0002-3323-575X
Hodge, Allison
Peeters, AnnaORCID iD for Peeters, Anna orcid.org/0000-0003-4340-9132
Journal name BMC public health
Volume number 13
Season Article number: 1214
Start page 1
End page 16
Total pages 16
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2013
ISSN 1471-2458
Keyword(s) Adult
Australia
Body Mass Index
Cross-Sectional Studies
Diet
Educational Status
Female
Health Status Disparities
Humans
Leisure Activities
Male
Motor Activity
Obesity
Socioeconomic Factors
Surveys and Questionnaires
Summary BACKGROUND: The relationship between socioeconomic position and obesity has been clearly established, however, the extent to which specific behavioural factors mediate this relationship is less clear. This study aimed to ascertain the contribution of specific dietary elements and leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) to variations in obesity with education in the baseline (1990-1994) Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study (MCCS).

METHODS: 18, 489 women and 12, 141 men were included in this cross-sectional analysis. A series of linear regression models were used in accordance with the products of coefficients method to examine the mediating role of alcohol, soft drink (regular and diet), snacks (healthy and sweet), savoury items (healthy and unhealthy), meeting fruit and vegetable guidelines and LTPA on the relationship between education and body mass index (BMI).

RESULTS: Compared to those with lowest educational attainment, those with the highest educational attainment had a 1 kg/m2 lower BMI. Among men and women, 27% and 48%, respectively, of this disparity was attributable to differences in LTPA and diet. Unhealthy savoury item consumption and LTPA contributed most to the mediated effects for men and women. Alcohol and diet soft drink were additionally important mediators for women.

CONCLUSIONS: Diet and LTPA are potentially modifiable behavioural risk factors for the development of obesity that contribute substantially to inequalities in BMI. Our findings highlight the importance of specific behaviours which may be useful to the implementation of effective, targeted public policy to reduce socioeconomic inequalities in obesity.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/1471-2458-13-1214
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
1117 Public Health And Health Services
Socio Economic Objective 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2013, Gearon et al.
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30081139

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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.