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The effect of social class on mid-age women's weight control practices and weight gain

Williams L et al. – The study provides longitudinal evidence from a nationally representative sample of women that social class is related to weight gain, and to certain weight control practices.

  • 11,589 mid–aged women (aged 47–52)
  • Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH)
  • Multivariate model tested whether mean weight change over a two–year period differed by social class after adjusting for area of residence, age, education, baseline BMI, and smoking.

  • Working–class women gained significantly more weight at 1.27 (0.07) kg (95% CI: 1.12–1.42) over 2 years, compared with middle/upper–class women at 1.01 (0.07) kg (95% CI: 0.88–1.15).
  • They were significantly more likely to use potentially harmful weight control practices than middle/upper–class women (8.9%) (Chi–squared test = 30.65, p < 0.0001), and less likely to meet physical activity recommendations.