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Iran J Public Health. 2014 Jul;43(7):913-25.

Socioeconomic status and overweight prevalence in polish adolescents: the impact of single factors and a complex index of socioeconomic status in respect to age and sex.

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Dept. of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Food Science, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn , Poland.



The aim of this study was to analyze the association between overweight prevalence and socioeconomic status (SES) measured by complex SES index and single SES factors in Polish adolescents in respect to age and sex.


This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2010-2011. A total of 1,176 adolescents aged 13.0-18.9 years were included. The respondents were students of junior-high and high schools from northern, eastern and central Poland. Quota sampling by sex and age was used. The SES was determined by: place of residence, self-declared economic situation, and parental education level. Respondents with low, average or high SES index (SESI) were identified. The level of overweight was assessed using Polish and international standards.


The odds ratio (OR) for overweight prevalence in the oldest girls (aged 17.0-18.9 years) with high SESI was 0.34 (95%CI:0.13-0.92; P < 0.05) by Polish standards and 0.22 (95%CI:0.05-0.95; P < 0.05) by international standards, in comparison to the reference group (low SESI). In total girls who had mothers with higher education level, the OR adjusted for age was 0.44 (95%CI:0.21-0.90; P <0.05) by Polish standards and 0.35 (95%CI:0.15-0.81; P < 0.05) by international standards, in comparison to the reference group (maternal elementary education). The other single SES factors were not significant for overweight prevalence.


The relationship between socioeconomic status and prevalence of overweight was related to sex and age. The high socioeconomic status strongly lowered the risk of overweight prevalence in the oldest girls, but not in boys, irrespective of age. Maternal education level lowered risk of overweight prevalence in girls.


Adolescents; BMI; Mother’s education; Overweight; Socioeconomic status


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