Socioeconomic position and risk of short-term weight gain: prospective study of 14,619 middle-aged men and women

Purslow, Lisa R.; Young, Elizabeth H.; Wareham, Nicholas J.; Forouhi, Nita; Brunner, Eric J.; Luben, Robert N.; Welch, Ailsa A.; Kay-Tee Khaw; Bingham, Shelia A.; Sandhu, Manjinder S.
January 2008
BMC Public Health;2008, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p112
Academic Journal
Background: The association between socioeconomic position in middle age and risk of subsequent, short-term weight gain is unknown. We therefore assessed this association in a prospective population based cohort study in Norfolk, UK. Methods: We analysed data on 14,619 middle-aged men and women (aged between 40-75 at baseline) with repeated objective measures of weight and height at baseline (1993-1997) and follow up (1998-2000). Results: During follow up 5,064 people gained more than 2.5 kg. Compared with the highest social class, individuals in the lowest social class had around a 30% greater risk of gaining more than 2.5 kg (OR 1.29; 95% CI 1.11-1.51; p for trend = 0.002). This association remained statistically significant following adjustment for sex, age, baseline BMI, smoking, and follow up time (OR 1.25; CI 1.07-1.46; p for trend <0.001). We also found no material difference between unadjusted models and those including all confounders and potential mediators. Conclusion: Individuals of low socioeconomic position are at greatest risk of gaining weight during middle age, which is not explained by classical correlates of socioeconomic position and risk factors for obesity.


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