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Cross-National Comparisons of Time Trends in Overweight Inequality by Socioeconomic Status Among Women Using Repeated Cross-Sectional Surveys From 37 Developing Countries, 1989–2007
Authors: Jessica C. Jones-Smith, Penny Gordon-Larsen, Arjumand Siddiqi, and Barry M. Popkin
Source: American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 173, No. 6; DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwq428
Topic(s): Nutrition
Women's health
Country: More than one region
  Multiple Regions
Published: FEB 2011
Abstract: Chronic diseases are now among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in lower income countries. Although traditionally related to higher individual socioeconomic status (SES) in these contexts, the associations between SES and chronic disease may be actively changing. Furthermore, country-level contextual factors, such as economic development and income inequality, may influence the distribution of chronic disease by SES as well as how this distribution has changed over time. Using overweight status as a health indicator, the authors studied repeated cross-sectional data from women aged 18–49 years in 37 developing countries to assess within-country trends in overweight inequalities by SES between 1989 and 2007 (n ¼ 405,550). Meta-regression was used to examine the associations between gross domestic product and disproportionate increases in overweight prevalence by SES, with additional testing for modification by country-level income inequality. In 27 of 37 countries, higher SES (vs. lower) was associated with higher gains in overweight prevalence; in the remaining 10 countries, lower SES (vs. higher) was associated with higher gains in overweight prevalence. Gross domestic product was positively related to faster increase in overweight prevalence among the lower wealth groups. Among countries with a higher gross domestic product, lower income inequality was associated with faster overweight growth among the poor. developing countries; economic development; health status disparities; obesity; overweight; socioeconomic factors