“Evolution of Obesity and Change in Social Inequalites in France”
Background : Although France seems less affected by the rise in obesity than neighboring countries, theprevalence of obesity has increased, changing the distribution of this pathology in the population.Objective: To evaluate the consequences of the rise in obesity on social inequalities in France.Material : We analyze the data of the last three French national Health Surveys conducted in 1981, 1992and 2003.Results : The average body weight of both women and men has increased in France since 1981, withacceleration since the 1990s. Young as well as older populations have felt this trend. Nevertheless, thisprocess has not affected all socioeconomic groups in the same way. Geographical differences haveincreased between on the one hand the North and East, where the prevalence of obesity is higher, andon the other hand the Mediterranean region, where it is lower. Likewise, the gap between sociooccupationalcategories has greatly widened: obesity has increased much faster among farmers and bluecollarworkers than among managers and professionals. In contrast to women, poorer men are not morelikely to be obese than others.Conclusion : Our findings suggest that the disparities between social backgrounds have risen in France,in particular for women.
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