Socioeconomic Status and Obesity among Mexican Adolescents

Heidi Norbis, Princeton University

Numerous studies conducted in developed countries have found an inverse relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and adolescent obesity. It is not clear whether the inverse relationship between SES and obesity observed in developed countries holds in the context of developing countries. To shed light on this issue this study aims to examine the relationship between SES and obesity in a sample of Mexican adolescents. The present analysis draws from the Mexican National Health Survey 2000. Age and sex-specific body mass indices (kg/m²) were calculated and thresholds for adolescent obesity developed for international use by the International Obesity Taskforce were used to define obesity. SES was measured by parental education (disaggregated into maternal and paternal education), housing quality, and household asset ownership. Household asset ownership and quality of housing were found to significantly increase the odds of obesity. The effect of parental education on the odds of obesity was more complex.

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Presented in Session 137: Biomarkers, BMI and Socioeconomic Differentials in Health