Does psychosocial stress explain socioeconomic inequities in 9-year weight gain among young women?

Ball, Kylie, Schoenaker, Danielle A. J. M. and Mishra, Gita D. (2017) Does psychosocial stress explain socioeconomic inequities in 9-year weight gain among young women?. Obesity, 25 6: 1109-1114. doi:10.1002/oby.21830


Author Ball, Kylie
Schoenaker, Danielle A. J. M.
Mishra, Gita D.
Title Does psychosocial stress explain socioeconomic inequities in 9-year weight gain among young women?
Journal name Obesity   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1930-739X
1930-7381
Publication date 2017-06-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/oby.21830
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 25
Issue 6
Start page 1109
End page 1114
Total pages 6
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Subject 2701 Medicine (miscellaneous)
2712 Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
1310 Endocrinology
2916 Nutrition and Dietetics
Abstract Objective: This study investigated the contribution of psychosocial stress to mediating inequities in weight gain by educational status in a large cohort of young Australian women over a 9-year follow-up. Methods: This observational cohort study used survey data drawn from 4,806 women, aged 22 to 27 years at baseline (2000), participating in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, who reported their education level (2000), perceived stress (2003), and weight (2003 and 2012). Using a causal inference framework based on counterfactuals for mediation analysis, we fitted linear or logistic regression models to examine the total effect, decomposed into natural direct and indirect effects via perceived stress, of education level (highest qualification completed: up to year 12/trade or diploma vs. university) on weight change. Results: Women with lower education gained more weight over 9 years (6.1 kg, standard deviation [SD] 9.5) than women with higher education (3.8 kg, SD 7.7; P < 0.0001) and were more likely to be very or extremely stressed. The higher weight gain associated with low education was not mediated through perceived stress (per SD increase, percent mediated: 1.0%). Conclusions: Education-based inequities in weight gain over time were not attributable to greater psychosocial stress among women with lower education levels.
Formatted abstract
Objective: This study investigated the contribution of psychosocial stress to mediating inequities in weight gain by educational status in a large cohort of young Australian women over a 9-year follow-up.

Methods: This observational cohort study used survey data drawn from 4,806 women, aged 22 to 27 years at baseline (2000), participating in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, who reported their education level (2000), perceived stress (2003), and weight (2003 and 2012). Using a causal inference framework based on counterfactuals for mediation analysis, we fitted linear or logistic regression models to examine the total effect, decomposed into natural direct and indirect effects via perceived stress, of education level (highest qualification completed: up to year 12/trade or diploma vs. university) on weight change.

Results: Women with lower education gained more weight over 9 years (6.1 kg, standard deviation [SD] 9.5) than women with higher education (3.8 kg, SD 7.7; P < 0.0001) and were more likely to be very or extremely stressed. The higher weight gain associated with low education was not mediated through perceived stress (per SD increase, percent mediated: 1.0%).

Conclusions: Education-based inequities in weight gain over time were not attributable to greater psychosocial stress among women with lower education levels.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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