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J Epidemiol Glob Health. 2014 Mar;4(1):13-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jegh.2013.09.001. Epub 2013 Oct 16.

Socioeconomic status and obesity in Cairo, Egypt: a heavy burden for all.

Author information

1
Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, United States. Electronic address: mmowafi@post.harvard.edu.
2
American University in Cairo, Social Research Center, AUC Ave., P.O. Box 74, New Cairo 11835, Egypt.
3
Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, United States.
4
Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Global Health and Population, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, United States.
5
Duke University, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Box 90086, Durham, NC 27708, United States.

Abstract

Studies have generally shown a positive association between socioeconomic status (SES) and obesity in low-income countries, but few have tested this relationship in the Middle East where obesity prevalence is extraordinarily high and the nutrition profile more closely resembles developed world contexts. The objective of this study is to examine the SES-obesity association in Cairo, Egypt. Multinomial regression analyses were conducted and predicted probabilities were found for overweight and obesity status among adult men and women in a stratified analysis. Data were taken from the 2007 Cairo Urban Inequity Study which collected information on 3993 individuals from 50 neighborhoods in the Cairo Governorate. Five different measures of SES were utilized - education, household expenditures, household assets, subjective wealth, and father's education. No significant associations were found between most measures of SES and overweight/obesity in this population. Overweight and obesity are prevalent across the SES spectrum. These findings suggest that obesity programs and policies should be targeted at all SES groups in Cairo, although specific mechanisms may vary by SES and should be explored further in future studies.

KEYWORDS:

Egypt; Health inequities; Obesity; Social epidemiology; Socioeconomic status

Comment in

PMID:
24534331
DOI:
10.1016/j.jegh.2013.09.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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