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

journal contribution
posted on 01.02.2010, 00:00 authored by Verity Cleland, Clare Hume, David CrawfordDavid Crawford, Anna TimperioAnna Timperio, Kylie HeskethKylie Hesketh, L Baur, Nicola Welch, Jo SalmonJo Salmon, Kylie BallKylie Ball
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.

History

Journal

Medical journal of Australia

Volume

192

Issue

3

Pagination

137 - 140

Publisher

Australasian Medical Publishing Company

Location

Sydney, N.S.W.

ISSN

0025-729X

eISSN

1326-5377

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2010, Australasian Medical Publishing Company