Cross-national comparisons of time trends in overweight inequality by socioeconomic status among women using repeated cross-sectional surveys from 37 developing countries, 1989-2007

Jessica C. Jones-Smith, Penny Gordon-Larsen, Arjumand Siddiqi, Barry M. Popkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Chronic diseases are now among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in lower income countries. Although traditionally related to higher individual socioeconomic status (SES) in these contexts, the associations between SES and chronic disease may be actively changing. Furthermore, country-level contextual factors, such as economic development and income inequality, may influence the distribution of chronic disease by SES as well as how this distribution has changed over time. Using overweight status as a health indicator, the authors studied repeated cross-sectional data from women aged 18-49 years in 37 developing countries to assess within-country trends in overweight inequalities by SES between 1989 and 2007 (n=405,550). Meta-regression was used to examine the associations between gross domestic product and disproportionate increases in overweight prevalence by SES, with additional testing for modification by country-level income inequality. In 27 of 37 countries, higher SES (vs. lower) was associated with higher gains in overweight prevalence; in the remaining 10 countries, lower SES (vs. higher) was associated with higher gains in overweight prevalence. Gross domestic product was positively related to faster increase in overweight prevalence among the lower wealth groups. Among countries with a higher gross domestic product, lower income inequality was associated with faster overweight growth among the poor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-675
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Volume173
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 15 2011

Keywords

  • Developing countries
  • Economic development
  • Health status disparities
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Socioeconomic factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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