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Income Disparities in Obesity Trends Among California Adolescents (American Journal of Public Health)

September 1, 2010

CHIS Journal Article

Authors: Susan H. Babey, PhD, Theresa A. Hastert, Joelle Wolstein, PhD, MPP, MA, Allison L. Diamant, MD, MSHS

Using data from adolescents who responded to the California Health Interview Survey between 2001 and 2007, the authors studied income-specific trends in obesity rates among a diverse population of California adolescents.

This study showed obesity prevalence significantly increased among lower-income adolescents but showed no statistically significant differences among higher-income adolescents after adjustment for age, gender, and race/ethnicity. Although the overall disparity in obesity by family income doubled in this time period, trends were more consistent among male adolescents than among female adolescents. In conclusion, the magnitude of the income disparity in obesity prevalence among California adolescents more than doubled between 2001–2007. The overall leveling off of adolescent obesity prevalence rates could indicate that efforts to decrease childhood obesity are having an impact; however, our results suggest that efforts to prevent childhood obesity may be failing to help adolescents from lower-income families, particularly male adolescents.

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