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


Williams, LK and Andrianopoulos, N and Cleland, V and Crawford, D and Ball, K, Associations between education and personal income with body mass index among Australian women residing in disadvantaged neighborhoods, American Journal of Health Promotion, 28, (1) pp. 59-65. ISSN 0890-1171 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 by American Journal of Health Promotion, Inc.

DOI: doi:10.4278/ajhp.120316-QUAN-143


Purpose: The aims of the current study were 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 socioeconomically 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/m2. 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; 95% confidence interval, -2.34 to-1.09; p <.001) education had statistically significantly lower BMI values. No differences in BMI were observed between income categories. Stratified analyses suggested that the education-BMI association may be stronger in low-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 income, however, may buffer the effects of low education on BMI. Obesity prevention efforts should target women with amplified disadvantage.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:BMI, socioeconomic disadvantage, obesity, prevention research
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Epidemiology
Research Field:Epidemiology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:Cleland, V (Associate Professor Verity Cleland)
ID Code:87071
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2013-11-06
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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