Low socioeconomic status may increase the risk of central obesity in incoming university students in Taiwan

Chi Yuan Chao, Chi Chen Shih, Chi Jen Wang, Jin Shang Wu, Feng Hwa Lu, Chih Jen Chang, Yi Ching Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Obesity is related to social disparity. The objective of the study was to evaluate different indicators of parental SES with the association of central obesity in young adult Taiwanese students. Methods: This study was cross-sectionally designed and a total of 4552 subjects were recruited. Each subject completed a self-administrated questionnaire and received anthropometric and laboratory measurements. The indicators of SES in study subjects included parental education, occupation, household incomes, childhood and current index of social position (ISP), measured according to the modified Hollingshead's ISP. Central obesity was defined as waist circumference ≥90 cm in men and ≥80 cm in women. Results: The prevalence of central obesity was 10.7% in this study. When compared to subjects with normal waist circumferences, subjects with central obesity were older, had a higher BMI, both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, a higher proportion of male gender, family history of diabetes and hypertension, alcohol consumption habit, and a higher proportion of low current household income, current parental blue collar occupational level, and lower current and childhood parental ISP level. Multivariate analysis showed the current parental household income and ISP were significantly higher indicators of risk of central obesity after adjustment for possible confounding factors. The odds ratios were 1.26 and 1.30, respectively. Conclusions: Our results showed that low household income and current ISP were independently associated with the risk of central obesity. Therefore, young adults with low SES should be an important target group for prevention and management of central obesity in school health promotion programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e212-e219
JournalObesity Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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