Educational mobility and weight gain over 13 years in a longitudinal study of young women

Holowko, Natalie, Jones, Mark, Tooth, Leigh, Koupil, Ilona and Mishra, Gita (2014) Educational mobility and weight gain over 13 years in a longitudinal study of young women. BMC Public Health, 14 1: 1-11. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-1219

Author Holowko, Natalie
Jones, Mark
Tooth, Leigh
Koupil, Ilona
Mishra, Gita
Title Educational mobility and weight gain over 13 years in a longitudinal study of young women
Journal name BMC Public Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1471-2458
Publication date 2014-11-25
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/1471-2458-14-1219
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 14
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Limited evidence exists about the role of education and own educational mobility on body weight trajectory. A better understanding of how education influences long term weight gain can help us to design more effective health policies.

Using random effects models, the association between i) highest education (n = 10 018) and ii) educational mobility over a 9 year period (n = 9 907) and weight gain was analysed using five waves of data (over 13 years) from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health 1973–78 cohort (from 18–23 years to 31–36 years).

Highest educational attainment was inversely associated with weight at baseline and weight gain over 13 years. Compared to high educated women, those with a low (12 years or less) or intermediate (trade/certificate/diploma) education, respectively, weighed an additional 2.6 kg (95% CI:1.9 to 3.1) and 2.5 kg (95% CI:1.9 to 3.3) at baseline and gained an additional 3.9 kg (95% CI:2.6 to 5.2) and 3.1 kg (95% CI:2.6 to 3.9) over 13 years. Compared to women who remained with a low education, women with the greatest educational mobility had similar baseline weight to the women who already had a high education at baseline (2.7 kg lighter (95% CI:-3.7 to -1.8) and 2.7 kg lighter (95% CI:-3.4 to -1.9), respectively) and similarly favourable weight gain (gaining 3.1 kg less (95% CI:-4.0 to -2.21) and 4.2 kg less (95% CI:-4.8 to -3.4) over the 13 years, respectively).

While educational attainment by mid-thirties was positively associated with better weight management, women’s weight was already different in young adult age, before their highest education was achieved. These findings highlight a potential role of early life factors and personality traits which may influence both education and weight outcomes.
Keyword Educational Status
Social Inequalities
Weight trajectory
Weight gain
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Fri, 05 Dec 2014, 16:48:15 EST by Natalie Holowko on behalf of School of Public Health