Obesity, diets, and social inequalities

Center for Public Health Nutrition at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195-3410, USA.
Nutrition Reviews (Impact Factor: 5.54). 05/2009; 67 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S36-9. DOI: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00157.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Obesity and type 2 diabetes follow a socioeconomic gradient. Highest rates are observed among groups with the lowest levels of education and income and in the most deprived areas. Inequitable access to healthy foods is one mechanism by which socioeconomic factors influence the diet and health of a population. As incomes drop, energy-dense foods that are nutrient poor become the best way to provide daily calories at an affordable cost. By contrast, nutrient-rich foods and high-quality diets not only cost more but are consumed by more affluent groups. This article discusses obesity as an economic phenomenon. Obesity is the toxic consequence of economic insecurity and a failing economic environment.

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    • "Several studies found that in the United States, higher rates of obesity are linked to lower household incomes and higher rates of poverty for all members of the household (Drewnowski and Darmon 2005; Drewnowski 2009; Freedman et al. 2007; Freedman 2011; Ogden et al. 2010). Drewnowski (2009) suggests this relationship may be because " healthier diets, " which include less processed foods and more fresh fruits and vegetables, are generally more expensive in the United States. Additionally, Monteiro et al. (2004) conducted a review of research published from 1989 to 2003 examining the relationship between the prevalence of adult obesity and socio-economic status in developing countries. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study examines the relationship between the use of modern food retailers and health outcomes using data from a survey of 1,180 urban households in Indonesia. The dependent variables include adult and child body-mass index and the share of individuals overweight and obese. After controlling for individual and household characteristics and using standard and Lewbel instrumental variable approaches to control for unobservable characteristics, we do not find a statistically significant relationship between use of supermarkets and adult nutrition measures. On the other hand, there is mixed evidence for a negative effect of supermarkets on child nutrition, particularly for those in high-income households.
    American Journal of Agricultural Economics 03/2015; 97(2). DOI:10.1093/ajae/aau111 · 1.36 Impact Factor
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    • "All of these factors influence how the society and individual subjects perceive obesity. Previous research emphasized the roles of gender and socioeconomic status in the process of obesity development [10] [19] [20]. An example of the complexity of genderesocioeconomic status effects on obesity is that fact that in Brazil, obesity is more frequent among high-income men and low-income women compared with their peers [21]. "
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    • "Nutrition matters, not just because adequate calories and protein are required to sustain life, but also because diet influences the expression of genes that either enhance or deter good health and development. Throughout the world, including the United States, poverty restricts access to nutritious food and takes its toll through higher morbidity and mortality among poor people (Drewnowski, 2009). Moreover, Harper (2005) concluded that epigenetic changes due to diet can be passed on to future generations, and scientific evidence is mounting to confirm this conclusion (see Rothstein , Cai, & Marchant, 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Epigenesis is the biochemical process through which some genes are expressed and others remain silent, and it reinforces and explains the powerful impact that the environment has on human development. Epigenetic effects occur not only through diet, chemical exposure, and high levels of environmental stress, but also through chronic poverty and racism. Epigenesis provides a mandate for social workers to intervene at the policy level, both for today's children and for those in future generations.
    Social work 01/2013; 58(1):23-30. DOI:10.1093/sw/sws052 · 1.15 Impact Factor
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