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Ethn Dis. 2012 Spring;22(2):198-206.

Lifecourse educational status in relation to weight gain in African American women.

Author information

  • 1Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA. pcoogan@bu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Childhood disadvantage has been associated with increased risk of obesity from childhood through adulthood and those who are disadvantaged across the lifecourse are at highest risk. The effect of lifecourse socioeconomic status (SES) is particularly important for Black women due to the higher prevalence of low SES and obesity in Black compared to White women. We assessed associations of lifecourse SES, as indicated by educational status, with adult weight in African American women.

DESIGN:

We assessed the associations of parental education, current education (education of participant or her spouse), and a combination of parental and current education (lifecourse education) with weight gain among 21,457 women aged < 55 years in the longitudinal Black Women's Health Study, which began in 1995.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

We estimated the mean difference in weight gain between age 18 and age in 2009, and risk ratios for obesity in 2009, in each level of education compared to the highest level (college graduate).

RESULTS:

The age- and height-adjusted differences in mean weight gain for the lowest levels of parental and current education compared to the highest levels were 3.29 and 4.49 kg, respectively. The age-adjusted risk ratios for obesity for the lowest level of parental and current education were 1.44 (95% CI 1.32-1.57) and 1.75 (95% CI 1.57-1.95), respectively. Risk of obesity was lowest among those with current education of college graduate, regardless of parental education.

CONCLUSIONS:

Educational level of college graduate may overcome the adverse effects of low parental education on weight gain and obesity risk.

PMID:
22764643
PMCID:
PMC3848417
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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