Association between socioeconomic status and overweight and obesity among Inuit adults: International Polar Year Inuit Health Survey, 2007-2008

Zienczuk, Natalia; Egeland, GraceM.
January 2012
International Journal of Circumpolar Health;2012, Vol. 71, p1
Academic Journal
Objectives. To evaluate the socio-economic correlates of overweight and obesity among Inuit undergoing rapid cultural changes. Study design. A cross-sectional health survey of 2,592 Inuit adults from 36 communities in the Canadian Arctic. Methods. Main outcome measures were overweight and obesity (BMI>25 kg/m2 and >30 kg/m2, respectively) and as characteristics were similar, groups were combined into an at-risk BMI category (BMI>25 kg/m2). Logistic regression was used to determine the association between various sociodemographic characteristics and physical activity with overweight and obesity. Results. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was 28 and 36%, respectively, with a total prevalence of overweight and obesity of 64%. In analyses of sociodemographic variables adjusted for age, gender and region, higher education, any employment, personal income, and private housing were all significantly positively correlated with an at-risk BMI (p⩽.001). Smoking, Inuit language as primary language spoken at home, and walking were inversely associated with overweight and obesity. Conclusions. The current findings highlight the social disparities in overweight and obesity prevalence in an ethnically distinct population undergoing rapid cultural changes.


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