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More equal but heavier: A longitudinal analysis of income-related obesity inequalities in an adult Swedish cohort.

Ljungvall, Åsa LU and Gerdtham, Ulf LU (2010) In Social Science and Medicine 70(2). p.221-231
Abstract
Using longitudinal data over a 17-year period for a Swedish cohort aged 20-68 in 1980/1981, this study analyses income-related inequalities in obesity. By using the concentration index and decomposition techniques we answer the following questions: We find that among females, inequalities in obesity favour the rich, but the inequality declines over time. Income itself is the main driving force behind obesity inequality, whereas being single (as opposed to being married or cohabiting) is an important counteracting factor. The main reason for the reduced obesity inequality over time is increased obesity prevalence, because in absolute terms obesity has increased uniformly across income groups. Because the income elasticity of obesity is the... (More)
Using longitudinal data over a 17-year period for a Swedish cohort aged 20-68 in 1980/1981, this study analyses income-related inequalities in obesity. By using the concentration index and decomposition techniques we answer the following questions: We find that among females, inequalities in obesity favour the rich, but the inequality declines over time. Income itself is the main driving force behind obesity inequality, whereas being single (as opposed to being married or cohabiting) is an important counteracting factor. The main reason for the reduced obesity inequality over time is increased obesity prevalence, because in absolute terms obesity has increased uniformly across income groups. Because the income elasticity of obesity is the single most important contributor to the inequality, policies directed towards this factor might be the most effective for reducing obesity inequality. Our main income variable is within-individual mean of income, and we thereby focus on long-run inequality and are able to standardize for income mobility. The results show that inequality based on short-run income differs substantially from inequality based on long-run income. For males we find similar inequality trends as for women, although less pronounced. This difference between men and women should be taken into account when evaluating obesity reducing policies. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Change, Decomposition, Concentration index, Inequality, Income, Obesity, Sweden, Gender
in
Social Science and Medicine
volume
70
issue
2
pages
221 - 231
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000273927800008
  • scopus:71949089032
ISSN
1873-5347
DOI
10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.10.014
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
6844f031-321c-4d6b-bc88-c8372be0dca6 (old id 1512242)
alternative location
http://swopec.hhs.se/lunewp/abs/lunewp2009_003.htm
date added to LUP
2009-12-01 11:30:08
date last changed
2018-05-29 09:57:06
@article{6844f031-321c-4d6b-bc88-c8372be0dca6,
  abstract     = {Using longitudinal data over a 17-year period for a Swedish cohort aged 20-68 in 1980/1981, this study analyses income-related inequalities in obesity. By using the concentration index and decomposition techniques we answer the following questions: We find that among females, inequalities in obesity favour the rich, but the inequality declines over time. Income itself is the main driving force behind obesity inequality, whereas being single (as opposed to being married or cohabiting) is an important counteracting factor. The main reason for the reduced obesity inequality over time is increased obesity prevalence, because in absolute terms obesity has increased uniformly across income groups. Because the income elasticity of obesity is the single most important contributor to the inequality, policies directed towards this factor might be the most effective for reducing obesity inequality. Our main income variable is within-individual mean of income, and we thereby focus on long-run inequality and are able to standardize for income mobility. The results show that inequality based on short-run income differs substantially from inequality based on long-run income. For males we find similar inequality trends as for women, although less pronounced. This difference between men and women should be taken into account when evaluating obesity reducing policies.},
  author       = {Ljungvall, Åsa and Gerdtham, Ulf},
  issn         = {1873-5347},
  keyword      = {Change,Decomposition,Concentration index,Inequality,Income,Obesity,Sweden,Gender},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {221--231},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Social Science and Medicine},
  title        = {More equal but heavier: A longitudinal analysis of income-related obesity inequalities in an adult Swedish cohort.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.10.014},
  volume       = {70},
  year         = {2010},
}