Associations between Socioeconomic Status and Obesity in Six Middle-Income Countries: Results from the Study on Global AGEing and Adult Health (SAGE)
Melissa A. Liebert, University of Oregon
Theresa E. Gildner, University of Oregon
Research has documented a complex relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and obesity. Evidence suggests that SES and obesity are positively associated in lower-income countries but negatively associated in higher-income countries; however, few studies have evaluated these links among older adults. This paper uses data from the Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE) data with samples of older adults (=50 years old) in China, Ghana, India, Mexico, Russian Federation, and South Africa to examine the relationship between SES, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference (WC). Results revealed that BMI and WC were positively associated with wealth for men in all countries except Russia (p<0.05). BMI and wealth were positively associated among Russian women (p<0.05). These findings suggest that high SES may increase obesity risks for older men in middle-income countries. The results among women may imply a shift in the relationship between SES and obesity due to globalization.