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Socioeconomic inequalities in adult obesity risk in Canada: trends and decomposition analyses

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  • Mohammad Hajizadeh
  • M. Karen Campbell
  • Sisira Sarma

Abstract

This study examines trends in socioeconomic-related inequalities in obesity risk among Canadian adults (aged 18–65 years) from 2000 to 2010 using five nationally representative Canadian Community Health Surveys (CCHSs). We employed the concentration index (C) to quantify the socioeconomic inequalities in obesity risk across different demographic groups and geographic regions in each survey period. A decomposition analysis of inequality is performed to determine factors that lie behind income-related inequality in obesity risk. Although declining over time, the results show that there exists income-related inequality in obesity risk in Canada. The estimated Cs for men indicate that obesity is concentrated among the rich and its trend is increasing over time. The findings, however, suggest that obesity is more prevalent among economically disadvantaged women. While we found that obesity is mainly concentrated among the poor in the Atlantic Provinces, the degree of socioeconomic related inequality in obesity risk is increasing in these provinces. The results for Alberta showed that obesity is concentrated among the better-off individuals. The decomposition analysis suggests that factors such as demographics, income, immigration, education, drinking habits, and physical activity are the key factors explaining income-related inequality in obesity risk in Canada. Our empirical findings suggest that, in order to combat the obesity epidemic, health policies should focus on poorer females and economically well-off males. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

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  • Mohammad Hajizadeh & M. Karen Campbell & Sisira Sarma, 2014. "Socioeconomic inequalities in adult obesity risk in Canada: trends and decomposition analyses," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 15(2), pages 203-221, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:eujhec:v:15:y:2014:i:2:p:203-221
    DOI: 10.1007/s10198-013-0469-0
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    3. Antonio Di Paolo & Joan Gil Trasfi & Athina Raftopoulou, 2018. "“What drives regional differences in BMI? Evidence from Spain”," AQR Working Papers 201805, University of Barcelona, Regional Quantitative Analysis Group, revised Apr 2018.
    4. Merino Ventosa, María & Urbanos-Garrido, Rosa M.maria.merino.ven@gmail.com, 2016. "Disentangling effects of socioeconomic status on obesity: A cross-sectional study of the Spanish adult population," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 216-224.
    5. Mosquera, Paola A. & San Sebastian, Miguel & Waenerlund, Anna-Karin & Ivarsson, Anneli & Weinehall, Lars & Gustafsson, Per E., 2016. "Income-related inequalities in cardiovascular disease from mid-life to old age in a Northern Swedish cohort: A decomposition analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 135-144.
    6. Işıl Şirin Selçuk & Altuğ Murat Köktaş & Şükrü Anıl Toygar, 2023. "Socioeconomic factors affecting the probability of obesity: evidence from a nationwide survey in Turkey," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 57(1), pages 239-255, February.
    7. Hossein Zare & Danielle D. Gaskin & Roland J. Thorpe, 2021. "Income Inequality and Obesity among US Adults 1999–2016: Does Sex Matter?," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 18(13), pages 1-13, July.
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    11. Olufunke Alaba & Lumbwe Chola, 2014. "Socioeconomic Inequalities in Adult Obesity Prevalence in South Africa: A Decomposition Analysis," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 11(3), pages 1-20, March.
    12. Hajizadeh, Mohammad & Hu, Min & Bombay, Amy & Asada, Yukiko, 2018. "Socioeconomic inequalities in health among Indigenous peoples living off-reserve in Canada: Trends and determinants," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 122(8), pages 854-865.
    13. Hajizadeh, Mohammad & Mitnitski, Arnold & Rockwood, Kenneth, 2016. "Socioeconomic gradient in health in Canada: Is the gap widening or narrowing?," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 120(9), pages 1040-1050.
    14. Davillas, Apostolos & Benzeval, Michaela, 2016. "Alternative measures to BMI: Exploring income-related inequalities in adiposity in Great Britain," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 223-232.
    15. Åsa Ljungvall & Ulf Gerdtham & Ulf Lindblad, 2015. "Misreporting and misclassification: implications for socioeconomic disparities in body-mass index and obesity," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 16(1), pages 5-20, January.
    16. Jongnam Hwang & Eun-Young Lee & Chung Gun Lee, 2019. "Measuring Socioeconomic Inequalities in Obesity among Korean Adults, 1998–2015," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 16(9), pages 1-14, May.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Socioeconomic inequality; Obesity; Decomposition analysis; Canada; I14; D63; I18;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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