Do adult obesity rates in England vary by insecurity as well as by inequality? An ecological cross-sectional study.
ABSTRACT: Geographical variations in adult obesity rates have been attributed in part to variations in social and economic inequalities. Insecurity is associated with obesity at the cross-national level, but there is little empirical evidence to show that insecurity contributes to the structuring of adult obesity rates at the subnational level. This is examined in this study across local authorities in England, using a recently developed social classification for the British population.Modelled obesity rates from the Health Survey for England 2006-2008 were related to social class (as estimated from the BBC's Great British Class Survey of 2011 and a nationally representative sample survey), across 320 local authorities in England.Comparisons of mean obesity rates across Z score categories for seven latent social classes were carried out using one-way analysis of variance. Pooled ordinary least square regression analyses of obesity rates by local authorities according to the proportion of different social classes within each of them were performed to determine the extent of geographical variations in obesity rates among the classes that were more greatly based on insecurity (emergent service workers, precariat), and those more closely based on inequality (elite, established middle class, technical middle class, new affluent workers, traditional working class).Adult obesity rates vary negatively across local authorities according to the proportion of people in the elite (F=39.06, p<0.001) and technical middle class (F=8.10, p<0.001) and positively with respect to the proportion of people of the established middle class (F=26.36, p<0.001), new affluent workers (F=73.03, p<0.001), traditional working class (F=23.00, p<0.001) and precariat (F=13.13, p<0.001). Social classes more closely based on inequality show greater association with adult obesity rates across local authorities than social classes more closely based on insecurity.Both insecurity and inequality are associated with the geographical patterning of adult obesity rates across England.
Project description:This study outlines a theory of social class based on workplace ownership and authority relations, and it investigates the link between social class and growth in personal income inequality since the 1980s. Inequality trends are governed by changes in between-class income differences, changes in the relative size of different classes, and changes in within-class income dispersion. Data from the General Social Survey are used to investigate each of these changes in turn and to evaluate their impact on growth in inequality at the population level. Results indicate that between-class income differences grew by about 60% since the 1980s and that the relative size of different classes remained fairly stable. A formal decomposition analysis indicates that changes in the relative size of different social classes had a small dampening effect and that growth in between-class income differences had a large inflationary effect on trends in personal income inequality.
Project description:The aim of this study was to examine the pattern of social inequality in self-rated health among the employed using the Wright's social class location indicator, and to assess the roles of material, behavioral, psychosocial, and workplace environmental factors as mediating factors in explaining the social class inequality in self-rated health in South Korea.This study used data from the 4th Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007 to 2009. Study subjects included the employed population of 4392 men and 3309 women aged 19-64 years. Subjects were classified into twelve social class positions based on the Wright's social class map. The health outcome was self-rated health. Material, psychosocial, behavioral, and workplace environmental factors were considered as potential mediators in explaining social class health inequality. We calculated prevalence ratios of poor self-rated health according to social class, adjusted for age and mediating factors using Poisson regression models.Nonskilled workers and petty bourgeoisie reported worse self-rated health than other social classes among men. The age-adjusted prevalence of petty bourgeoisie and nonskilled workers were about four-fold greater than that of managers. Expert supervisors in the contradictory class location had a greater prevalence of poor self-rated health than experts in men. In women, the prevalence of poor self-rated health was greater in most social classes than their male counterparts, while the differences among social classes within women were not statistically significant. Workplace environmental factors explained the social class inequality by from 24 to 31% in nonskilled and skilled workers and nonskilled supervisors, respectively, and material factors showed an explanatory ability of about 8% for both nonskilled workers and petty bourgeoisie in men.We showed the inequality in self-rated health according to the Wright's social class in an industrialized Asian country. Policy efforts to improve workplace environments in nonskilled and skilled workers and nonskilled supervisors would have a moderate effect on reducing the magnitude of social class inequality in self-rated health. Furthermore, the means to improve power relations in the workplace should be devised to further reduce the social class inequalities in health.
Project description:STUDY OBJECTIVE: To assess relations between socioeconomic status and local air quality, and combined effects on respiratory health, in the context of environmental and health inequality. DESIGN: Data on people taking part in the Health Survey for England were attributed with a small area index of air pollution using annual mean concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, benzene, and particulates (PM10). Regression models were used to measure associations between social class, air quality, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), and self reported asthma. PARTICIPANTS: Participants aged 16-79 in the Health Survey for England 1995, 1996, and 1997. MAIN RESULTS: Urban lower social class households were more likely to be located in areas of poor air quality, but the association in rural areas was, if anything reversed. Low social class and poor air quality were independently associated with decreased lung function (FEV1), but not asthma prevalence, after adjustment for a number of potential confounders. Social class effects were not attenuated by adjustment for air quality. In men, a differential effect of air pollution on FEV1 was found, with its effect in social classes III to V about double that in social classes I and II (p value for interaction = 0.04). This effect modification was not seen for women. CONCLUSIONS: Further evidence of environmental inequity in the UK is provided. The association between FEV1 and local air quality is of similar magnitude to that with social class, and the adverse effects of air pollution seem to be greater in men in lower social classes.
Project description:Although obesity disparities between racial and socioeconomic groups have been well characterized, those based on gender and geography have not been as thoroughly documented. This study describes obesity prevalence by state, gender, and race and/or ethnicity to (1) characterize obesity gender inequality, (2) determine if the geographic distribution of inequality is spatially clustered, and (3) contrast the spatial clustering patterns of obesity gender inequality with overall obesity prevalence.Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System were used to calculate state-specific obesity prevalence and gender inequality measures. Global and local Moran's indices were calculated to determine spatial autocorrelation.Age-adjusted, state-specific obesity prevalence difference and ratio measures show spatial autocorrelation (z-score = 4.89, P-value < .001). Local Moran's indices indicate the spatial distributions of obesity prevalence and obesity gender inequalities are not the same. High and low values of obesity prevalence and gender inequalities cluster in different areas of the United States.Clustering of gender inequality suggests that spatial processes operating at the state level, such as occupational or physical activity policies or social norms, are involved in the etiology of the inequality and necessitate further attention to the determinates of obesity gender inequality.
Project description:To investigate the relations between causes of death, social position, and obesity in women who had never smoked.Prospective cohort study.Renfrew and Paisley, Scotland.8353 women and 7049 men aged 45-64 were recruited to the Renfrew and Paisley Study in 1972-6. Of these, 3613 women had never smoked and were the focus of this study. They were categorised by occupational class (I and II, III non-manual, III manual, and IV and V) and body mass index groups (normal weight, overweight, moderately obese, and severely obese).All cause and cause specific mortality during 28 years of follow-up by occupational class and body mass index, using Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for age and other confounders.The women in lower occupational classes who had never smoked were on average shorter and had poorer lung function and higher systolic blood pressure than women in the higher occupational classes. Overall, 43% (n = 1555) were overweight, 14% (n = 515) moderately obese, and 5% (n = 194) severely obese. Obesity rates were higher in lower occupational classes and much higher in all occupational classes than in current smokers in the full cohort. Half the women died, 51% (n = 916) from cardiovascular disease and 27% (n = 487) from cancer. Relative to occupational class I and II, all cause mortality rates were more than a third higher in occupational classes III manual (relative rate 1.35, 95% confidence interval 1.16 to 1.57) and IV and V (1.34, 1.17 to 1.55) and largely explained by differences in obesity, systolic blood pressure, and lung function. Similar upward gradients were seen for cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease but not for cancer. Mortality rates were highest in severely obese women in the lowest occupational classes.Women who had never smoked and were not obese had the lowest mortality rates, regardless of their social position. Where obesity is socially patterned as in this cohort, it may contribute to health inequalities and increase pressure on health and social services serving more disadvantaged populations.
Project description:To investigate the associations between deprivation and rates of childhood overweight and obesity in England, from 2007 to 2010.An ecological study using routine data from the National Child Measurement Programme and Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) 2010 scores.Local authority districts in England.Schoolchildren in Reception year (age 4-5 years) and Year 6 (age 10-11 years) attending non-specialist maintained state schools in England.Prevalence of overweight in both Reception and Year 6, prevalence of obesity in both Reception and Year 6 and IMD 2010 scores for each local authority.In 2009-2010, local authority IMD 2010 scores were strongly correlated with obesity rates among schoolchildren in Reception (r=0.625, p<0.001) and Year 6 (r=0.733, p<0.001). There were no statistically significant changes in association between obesity in Reception or Year 6 and IMD from 2007-2008 to 2009-2010. In contrast, the prevalence of overweight was not statistically significantly correlated with local authority IMD scores in Reception (r=0.095, p=0.092) and only weakly correlated in Year 6 (r=0.184, p=0.001). There were no statistically significant changes in association between overweight in Reception or Year 6 and IMD from 2007-2008 to 2009-2010.Childhood obesity rates in England are strongly associated with deprivation. Given the enormous public health implications of overweight and obesity in the population, these findings suggest that significant effort is required to tackle unhealthy weight in children in all local authorities and that this should be a priority in areas with high levels of deprivation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Food insecurity contributes to poor health outcomes among people living with HIV. In Latin America and the Caribbean, structural factors such as poverty, stigma, and inequality disproportionately affect women and may fuel both the HIV epidemic and food insecurity. METHODS:We examined factors contributing to food insecurity among women living with HIV (WLHIV) in the Dominican Republic (DR). Data collection included in-depth, semi-structured interviews in 2013 with 30 WLHIV with indications of food insecurity who resided in urban or peri-urban areas and were recruited from local HIV clinics. In-person interviews were conducted in Spanish. Transcripts were coded using content analysis methods and an inductive approach to identify principal and emergent themes. RESULTS:Respondents identified economic instability as the primary driver of food insecurity, precipitated by enacted stigma in the labor and social domains. Women described experiences of HIV-related labor discrimination in formal and informal sectors. Women commonly reported illegal HIV testing by employers, and subsequent dismissal if HIV-positive, especially in tourism and free trade zones. Enacted stigma in the social domain manifested as gossip and rejection by family, friends, and neighbors and physical, verbal, and sexual abuse by intimate partners, distancing women from sources of economic and food support. These experiences with discrimination and abuse contributed to internalized stigma among respondents who, as a result, were fearful and hesitant to disclose their HIV status; some participants reported leaving spouses and/or families, resulting in further isolation from economic resources, food and other support. A minority of participants described social support by friends, spouses, families and support groups, which helped to ameliorate food insecurity and emotional distress. CONCLUSIONS:Addressing food insecurity among WLHIV requires policy and programmatic interventions to enforce existing laws designed to protect the rights of people living with HIV, reduce HIV-related stigma, and improve gender equality.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To assess the associations between childhood and adulthood social class and insulin resistance. DESIGN:Cross sectional survey. SETTING:23 towns across England, Scotland, and Wales. PARTICIPANTS:4286 women aged 60-79 years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Insulin resistance and other cardiovascular disease risk factors. RESULTS:Belonging to manual social classes in childhood and in adulthood was independently associated with increased insulin resistance, dyslipidaemia, and general obesity. The association between childhood social class and insulin resistance was stronger than that for adult social class. The effect, on insulin resistance and other risk factors, of belonging to a manual social class at either stage in the life course was cumulative, with no evidence of an interaction between childhood and adult social class. Women who were in manual social classes in childhood remained at increased risk of insulin resistance, dyslipidaemia, and obesity--even if they moved into non-manual social classes in adulthood--compared with women who were in non-manual social classes at both stages. CONCLUSIONS:Adverse social circumstances in childhood, as well as adulthood, are strongly and independently associated with increased risk of insulin resistance and other metabolic risk factors.
Project description:Background:The ongoing nutrition transition in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is exhibiting spatial heterogeneity and temporal variability leading to different forms of malnutrition burden across SSA, with some regions exhibiting the double burden of malnutrition. This study aimed to develop a predictive understanding of the malnutrition burden among women of child-bearing age. Methods:Data from 34 SSA countries were acquired from the Demographic and Health Survey, World Bank, and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. The SSA countries were classified into malnutrition classes based on their national prevalence of underweight, overweight, and obesity using a 10% threshold. Next, random forest analysis was used to examine the association between country-level demographic variables and the national prevalence of underweight, overweight and obesity. Finally, random forest analysis and multinomial logistic regression models were utilized to investigate the association between individual-level social and demographic variables and Body Mass Index (BMI) categories of underweight, normal weight, and combined overweight and obesity. Results:Four malnutrition classes were identified: Class A had 5 countries with ?10% of the women underweight; Class B had 11 countries with ?10% each of underweight and overweight; Class C1 had 7 countries with ?10% overweight; and Class C2 had 11 countries with ?10% obesity. At the country-level, fertility rate predicted underweight, overweight and obesity prevalence, but economic indicators were also important, including the gross domestic product per capita - a measure of economic opportunity that predicted both overweight and obesity prevalence, and the GINI coefficient - a measure of economic inequality that predicted both underweight and overweight prevalence. At the individual-level, parity was a risk factor for underweight in underweight burdened countries and a risk factor for overweight/obesity in overweight/obesity burdened countries, whereas age and wealth were protective factors for underweight but risk factors for overweight/obesity. Conclusions:Beyond the effect of economic indicators, this study revealed the important role of fertility rate and parity, which may represent risk factors for both underweight and combined overweight and obesity among women of child-bearing age. Health professionals should consider combining reproductive health services with nutritional programs when addressing the challenge of malnutrition in SSA.
Project description:BACKGROUND:COVID-19 caused by a new form of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) first appeared in China end of 2019 and quickly spread to all counties of the world. To slow down the spread of the virus and to limit the pressure on the health care systems, different regulations and recommendations have been implemented by authorities, comprising amongst others the closure of all entertainment venues and social distancing. These measures have received mixed reactions, particularly from young individuals, with many not following available advice. Drawing on the information in social media discussion forums, the present study explores the reasons why people ignore the orders and recommendations of the authorities and why the authorities are unable to produce a shared sense of inclusion concerning protective measures against the COVID-19 outbreak. METHODS:Three open-access social media forums (Reddit, Twitter, and YouTube comments) were systematically searched with respect to COVID-19-related beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours of individuals. The data was retrieved in the first 3 weeks of March 2020. Qualitative document analysis and qualitative content analysis were used as the methodical approach. The data was reviewed by all authors and jointly interpreted to minimise inconsistencies. RESULTS:The study reveals that reasons such as information pollution on social media, the persistence of uncertainty about the rapidly spreading virus, the impact of the social environment on the individual, and fear of unemployment associated with inequality in the distribution of income lead people to ignore the orders and recommendations of the authorities. The findings suggest that government representatives and politicians could not produce a shared sense of inclusion concerning protective measures against the COVID-19 outbreak, due to not building trust among the public and taking concrete economic steps to satisfy them. CONCLUSION:In uncertain crises, transparency in the presentation of information and government policies emerge as influential determinants in creating social susceptibility and solidarity. The differences between social classes constitute one of the important factors that affect the decision-making mechanisms of individuals in determining the necessary steps to be undertaken in times of crisis.