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J Epidemiol Community Health. 2001 Mar; 55(3): 185–190.
PMCID: PMC1731844

Socioeconomic status and weight control practices in British adults


STUDY OBJECTIVE—Attitudes and practices concerning weight control in British adults were examined to test the hypothesis that variation in concern about weight and deliberate weight control might partly explain the socioeconomic status (SES) gradient in obesity. Higher SES groups were hypothesised to show more weight concern and higher levels of dieting.
SETTING—Data were collected as part of the monthly Omnibus Survey of the Office of National Statistics in March 1999.
PARTICIPANTS—A stratified, probability sample of 2690 households was selected by random sampling of addresses in Britain. One randomly selected person in each household was interviewed at their home.
MAIN RESULTS—As predicted, higher SES men and women had higher levels of perceived overweight, monitored their weight more closely, and were more likely to be trying to lose weight. Higher SES groups also reported more restrictive dietary practices and more vigorous physical activity.
CONCLUSIONS—The results are consistent with the idea that part of the protection against weight gain in higher SES groups could be a higher frequency of weight monitoring, a lower threshold for defining themselves as overweight, and a greater likelihood of deliberate efforts at weight control.

Keywords: socioeconomic status; weight control; obesity

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Selected References

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