Associations between education and personal income with body mass index among Australian women residing in disadvantaged neighborhoods

Lauren K William, Nick Andrianopoulos, Verity Cleland, David Crawford, Kylie Ball

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5 Citations (Scopus)


The aims of the current study luere to (1) determine the association between personal income and body mass index (BMI) and between individual education and BMI, and (2) examine the association between education and BMI across strata of personal income among women. Design. The design of the study was a quantitative analysis of data from self-report questionnaires. Setting. The study setting was socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods in Victoria, Australia. Subjects. The study included 4065 nonpregnant women (ages 18-45 years) living in socioeconomicatly disadvantaged areas. Measures. The study used a self-report questionnaire measuring sociodemographic characteristics known to be associated with BMI. Analysis. Multiple linear regressions with imputation were used to assess the association between education level, personal income, and BMI, while controlling for covariates. Results. Mean (SD) observed BMI was 26.0(6.1) kg/m^. Compared with women with low education, women with medium (b = -0.81; 95 confidence interval, -1.30 to-0.27; p= .004) and high (b = -1. 71; 957o confidence interval, -2.34 to -1.09; p <.001) education had statistically significantly lower BMI values. No differences in BMI were observed between incoine categories. Stratified analyses suggested that the education-BMI association inay be stronger in tow-income than higher-income women. Conclusion. Our data show that among women living in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas, high education level rather than personal income may be protective against overweight/obesity. High personal incoine, however, may buffer the effects of low education on BMI. Obesity prevention efforts should target women with amplified disadvantage. (AmJHeatth Promot 2013;28[l]:59-65.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59 - 66
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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