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RESEARCH PAPER
 
CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
 
 

Socio-economic status as an environmental factor – incidence of underweight, overweight and obesity in adolescents from less-urbanized regions of Poland

Anna Długosz 1  ,  
 
1
Chair and Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Collegium Medicum, Bydgoszcz, Poland
2
Department of Human Nutrition, University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, Poland
3
“Dream” Pharmacy, Bydgoszcz, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med 2015;22(3):518–523
KEYWORDS:
ABSTRACT:
Introduction:
Under-nutrition, over-nutrition and obesity incidence in relation to environmental diversity and socio- economic influences in adolescents from less urbanized regions of Poland has not been widely studied. Objective. To determine the correlation between socio-economic status and incidence of underweight, overweight and obesity in adolescents located in less-urbanized regions of Poland.

Material and Methods:
The study involved 553 adolescents aged 13–18 living in 2 less-urbanized regions of Poland (small towns and villages in the central and north-eastern regions). The sample was randomly chosen. The distinguishing determinants of socio-economic status (SES) included 6 features. The SES index (SESI) was calculated. Low, average and high SESI adolescents were distinguished. Using logistic regression, the odds ratio (OR) of underweight (BMI<18.5kg/m2 ), overweight (BMI≥25kg/m2 ) and obesity (BMI≥30kg/m2 ) incidence was calculated after BMI conversion using the international cut-off by Cole et al. (2000, 2007). The reference group were adolescents with low SESI (OR=1.00).

Results:
11% of the adolescents were underweight, 14% were overweight and 3% were obese. The odds ratio of underweight incidence for the average SESI adolescent was 0.33 (95%CI: 0.15, 0.73; p<0.01) and in high SESI adolescents – 1.05 (95%CI: 0.78, 1.42; p>0.05). The odds ratio of overweight incidence in the average SESI adolescent was 1.73 (95%CI: 0.93, 3.19; p>0.05) and in high SESI adolescents – 1.14 (95%CI: 0.83, 1.57; p>0.05). The odds ratio of obesity incidence in the average SESI adolescent was 0.70 (95%CI: 0.21, 2.34; p>0.05) and in high SESI adolescents – 0.76 (95%CI: 0.40, 1.44; p>0.05). Adjustments for gender, age or region of residence did not significantly change the ORs values or their interpretation.

Conclusions:
Underweight incidence in adolescents from less urbanized regions of Poland depended on socio-economic status. An adolescent with average socio-economic status was 3 times less likely to be underweight than an adolescent with low socio-economic status. The correlation between socio-economic status and overweight and obesity was not significant.

eISSN:1898-2263
ISSN:1232-1966