Exploring relationships between socio-economic status and the health correlates of excess weight among Canadians
Authors: Benjamin Higgins
Previous studies have examined the relationship between social class and body mass index (BMI) in Canada, illustrating a class gradient in body weight. Few researchers have examined the relationship between social class and comorbidities of excess weight. Using the Canadian Health Measures Survey (Cycle 1), I employ multivariate linear and logistic regression techniques to explore the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES), sociodemographic characteristics, and weight-related health (BMI and comorbidities of excess weight) among Canadians. I use the Edmonton Obesity Staging System to operationalize comorbidities of excess weight as sub-clinical indicators of medical conditions associated with excess weight (aerobic fitness), medical symptoms (hypertension), and functional limitations. I find that the relationship between SES and weight-related health varies by gender, measure of SES, and measure of weight-related health, concluding that to better understand how social class influences weight-related health, researchers need to expand how ‘weight’ is measured.
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