Socioeconomic Differences in Adolescent Health-Related Behavior Differ by Gender

Article (PDF Available)inJournal of Epidemiology 23(3) · April 2013with64 Reads
DOI: 10.2188/jea.JE20120133 · Source: PubMed
Background Many studies of adolescent health-related behaviors have assessed the effects of gender and parental socioeconomic position (SEP) but not their mutual modification. We investigated socioeconomic differences in health-related behaviors among Slovak adolescents and the potential modification of those differences by gender. Methods Data were collected in 2006 (n = 3547; 49.4% boys; mean [SD] age, 14.3 [0.6] years; response rate, 93.5%). The sample comprised students in the eighth and ninth grades of randomly selected elementary schools in Slovakia. Gender-specific prevalence rates for 9 types of health-related behaviors, including nutritional behavior, physical activity and substance use, were calculated for 3 socioeconomic groups, which were defined by the highest educational level attained by both parents. Gender differences in socioeconomic gradients for health-related behaviors were tested. Results Socioeconomic differences were found in nutritional behavior, physical activity, and smoking. Adolescents with lower parental education behaved less healthily. The largest relative socioeconomic difference was no daily vegetable consumption among girls (90.3% of those with high SEP vs 95.2% of those with middle SEP; odds ratio, 2.33). Regarding no daily fruit consumption, differences among girls were 1.51 times and 1.92 times as large as those among boys for children with medium and low SEP, respectively, as compared with those with high SEP. Conclusions Socioeconomic differences in health-related behavior were small, especially for nutritional behavior and physical activity. Interventions that aim to improve health-related behaviors among adolescents with lower SEP should focus on these 2 behaviors, particularly on healthy nutrition in girls with low SEP.

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    • "Our findings indicate that several sociodemographic characteristics such as family affluence, family structure, urban context and educational level of parents were associated with parental rule setting on eating and also with eating habits of adolescents. Adolescents reporting low family affluence, incomplete family, low parental education , living in a rural area and a lower socioeconomic status were at higher risk of unhealthy eating habits which is in line with previous findings [3, 24]. We explored this relationship using several indicators related to socioeconomic status (such as education of parents) to ascertain the validity of the results. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Unhealthy eating habits in adolescence lead to a wide variety of health problems and disorders. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of absence of parental rules on eating and unhealthy eating behaviour and to explore the relationships between parental rules on eating and a wide range of unhealthy eating habits of boys and girls. We also explored the association of sociodemographic characteristics such as gender, family affluence or parental education with eating related parental rules and eating habits of adolescents. Methods The data on 2765 adolescents aged 13–15 years (mean age: 14.4; 50.7 % boys) from the Slovak part of the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) study 2014 were assessed. The associations between eating-related parental rules and unhealthy eating patterns using logistic regression were assessed using logistic regression. Results Unhealthy eating habits occurred frequently among adolescents (range: 18.0 % reported skipping breakfast during weekends vs. 75.8 % for low vegetables intake). Of all adolescents, 20.5 % reported a lack of any parental rules on eating (breakfast not mandatory, meal in front of TV allowed, no rules about sweets and soft drinks). These adolescents were more likely to eat unhealthily, i.e. to skip breakfast on weekdays (odds ratio/95 % confidence interval: 5.33/4.15–6.84) and on weekends (2.66/2.12–3.34), to report low consumption of fruits (1.63/1.30–2.04) and vegetables (1.32/1.04–1.68), and the frequent consumption of sweets (1.59/1.30–1.94), soft drinks (1.93/1.56–2.38) and energy drinks (2.15/1.72–2.70). Conclusions Parental rule-setting on eating is associated with eating behaviours of adolescents. Further research is needed to disentangle causality in this relationship. If causal, parents may be targeted to modify the eating habits of adolescents.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2016
    • "In the present study, low SES was defined as both low perceived SES and low parents' highest education, whereas high SES was defined as any other combination. Previously, the SES indicators of adolescents' perceived SES [24,25] and parents' highest education levels [12,21,26,27] were reported to associate significantly with the health status, health behaviors, and overweight/obesity among adolescents. Moreover, these two SES indicators exhibited a significant correlation with each other (Spearman rho = 0.3, p < 0.001). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whether adolescent overweight/obesity is linked to socioeconomic status (SES) and fruit and vegetable (F/V) intakes has not been confirmed. We aimed to determine whether there is an association between SES and adolescent overweight/obesity and to test the mediating effect of F/V intakes. This cross-sectional study included the data of 63,111 adolescents extracted from the 2013 Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey. Overweight/obesity was defined as a body mass index ≥ 85th percentile, while F/V intakes were categorized as high (recommended levels: ≥1 fruit serving and ≥3 vegetable servings per day) versus low. Among girls, low SES (beta = 0.50, p < 0.001) and F/V intakes (beta = −0.17, p = 0.038) were both significantly associated with overweight/obesity; the former association was significantly mediated by F/V intakes (Sobel test: z = 2.00, p = 0.046). Among boys, neither SES nor F/V intakes was significantly associated with overweight/obesity. Adolescent overweight/obesity was significantly linked to low SES and F/V intakes among girls only; low SES indirectly increased the risk of overweight/obesity via low F/V intakes. Therefore, promoting F/V intakes for socially disadvantaged girls should be prioritized as a population-based strategy for preventing adolescent overweight/obesity in South Korea.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2016
    • "Black children also slept less than their Indian and White peers. European children from a high socio economic status have the highest levels of participation in physical activity (Jiménez-Pavón et al., 2010) while another study has shown only slight associations between socioeconomic status and physical activity (Pitel et al., 2013). As our sample came from schools which provided similar opportunities to be physical active, we cannot attribute these differences in physical (in)activity to the types of schools which the participants attended. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Few studies have examined physical activity and inactivity levels in an urban South African setting across 12 years of formal schooling. This information is important for implementing strategies to curb increasing trends of physical inactivity and related negative consequences, especially in low to middle income countries facing multiple challenges on overburdened health care systems. We examined levels of physical activity and sedentary behaviour cross-sectionally over 12 school years from childhood to adolescence in Black, White and Indian boys and girls. The aim of our study was to describe gender and race related patterns of physical and sedentary activity levels in a sample of South African children and to determine whether there were associations between these variables and body mass status. Physical activity questionnaires, previously validated in a South African setting, were used to gather information about activity and sedentary behaviours among 767 Black, White and Indian children (5-18 years of age) across the 12 grades of formal schooling. Body mass and height were also measured. Time spent in moderate-vigorous physical activity declined over the school years for all race groups and was consistently lower for girls than boys (p = 0.03), while time spent in sedentary activity increased with increasing grade (p < 0.001) for boys and girls and across all race groups. Associations between physical activity and body mass were observed for White children (r = -0.22, p < 0.001), but not for Black and Indian children (p > 0.05) whereas time spent in sedentary activities was significantly and positively correlated with body mass across all race groups: Indian (r = 0.25, p < 0.001), White (r = 0.22, p < 0.001) and Black (r = 0.37, p = 0.001). The strength of the associations was similar for boys and girls. Black and Indian children were less physically active than their white peers (p < 0.05), and Black children also spent more time in sedentary activity (p < 0.05). Additionally, Black children had the highest proportion of overweight participants (30%), and Indian children the most number of underweight children (13%). Regardless of ethnicity, children who spent more than 4 hours per day in front of a screen were approximately twice as likely to be overweight (OR, 1.96 [95%CI: 1.06-3.64, p = 0.03]). Regardless of race, inactivity levels are related to body mass. Ethnic and gender disparities exist in physical activity and sedentary activity levels and this may echo a mix of biological and cultural reasons. Key pointsRegardless of race, inactivity levels are related to body mass.In an ethnically diverse urban group of South African school children, there exists an age related decline in physical activity and increase in time spent in front of a screen.Ethnic and gender disparities exist in physical activity and sedentary activity levels and this may echo a mix of biological and cultural reasons.
    Article · May 2014