Income Gradient in Obesity among U.S. Adults: Variations by Race and Ethnicity, Gender, and Birthplace across Birth Cohorts

Jongho Heo, San Diego State University
Shih-Fan Lin, San Diego State University
Audrey N. Beck, San Diego State University
Brian K. Finch, RAND Corporation

This study examines the cohort-based income gradients in obesity among whites, blacks, and Mexican-American using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1971 and 2010. Predicted probabilities of obesity by poverty income ratio were estimated. We also stratified this relationship by gender, race/ethnicity, and birthplace. Our analyses revealed that the income gradients of obesity across cohorts vary markedly by gender, race/ethnicity, and birthplace. Females who earned higher income have lower risks of obesity with the exception of Mexican-American females in the early cohorts. Compared to females, relatively weaker income gradients were observed for males across cohorts except for black males. Additionally, an increasingly larger gap was shown in the predicted probability of obesity between US-born and foreign-born respondents regardless of the race/ethnicity. Our findings imply that policies and interventions need to be tailored and taken into account of the cohort effects among targeted race/ethnicity and gender.

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Presented in Poster Session 6: Population Aging; Gender, Race and Ethnicity