11 Apr 2022


Socioeconomic Status Drives Adult Obesity Cases in the US

Format: APA

Academic level: University

Paper type: Research Paper

Words: 898

Pages: 3

Downloads: 0


Obesity is one of the biggest public health concerns in America today. Its prevalence has more than doubled in the last 30 years. One in every three Americans is obese and it is devastating that with the current trends, the prevalence will even be higher. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a majority of the people suffering from obesity are those from a lower socio-economic status. The prevalence is however higher in women than in men. About 26.5% of men who earn less than $10,000 are obese compared to 24.6% who earn more than $75,000. On the other hand, 35.6% of women from lower social status are obese compared to 15.5% of those who earn high income. The high incidence and prevalence rate of obesity among the poor is attributed to cheap and readily available fast foods compared to the expensive organic foods. There are however arguments that as the economy strengthens, the rate of obesity is likely to go up as opposed to when the economy is weakening. People tend to have more available time to prepare decent meals when they are unemployed, as opposed to when they have tight schedules at places of work. The opposite however applies among children. A research by Veronica Mocanu on school going children discovered that there is a higher risk of children from high Socio-economic Status (SES) being overweight and obese as opposed to children from low SES. The research aims to find out if adults from high SES have a high risk of being obese as opposed to children from low SES. 

Literature Review

The occurrence of childhood obesity has been on the rise. Children are exposed to a lot of junk food and empty calories that are over processed and packed with excess soluble sugars. The level of physical activity among children has also gone down due to the fact that many children are glued on the internet and other electronic gaming gadgets. About 24% of children in urban elementary school in Romania were obese and 7% were overweight (Mocanu, 2013). Rahul et al. noted that children from low SES have less likelihood to be obese compare to women of the same SES. Adolescents from highest SES had lower prevalence in obesity disregarding race or ethnicity. Obesity rates among Caucasians girls and Hispanic boys decreased with an increase in knowledge. On the other hand, African Americans did not have any association between SES and obesity (Fradkin et al., 2014). Akee et al. records that, the prevalence of obesity increased when the poorest Native Americans received transfer payments. According to Wang and Beydoun, the prevalence of obesity has increased across all SES at an annual rate of 0.3-0.8% over the past three decades. Lower levels of income and education generally affected the likelihood of one getting obese (Shaikh et al, 2015). A cohort study done by Coogan over a ten-year period concluded that black women from low income neighborhood had gained weight during the ten years and were obese. 

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Statement of Problem 

Despite the several studies that have been done, obesity remains a public health concern. The burden of the disease is taking a toll on the government and the current global trends in the economy will only make the situation worse. 


The level of income has a direct impact on the food choice of various family households. This directly affects the prevalence of obesity in the society. 


The research will be done on adults from ages 18-55 years old from low and high SES who are located within the same geographical area. A specific area will be selected. Adults to participate in the survey will be approached in their homes during weekends whereas children can be accessed in school and chosen randomly. For instance, in a given class, papers will be numbered and only people who fall in the selected selection criterion will be allowed to participate in the study. 

Study Design 

The study design will be descriptive. A survey will be carried out across the selected region. Both children and adults from high and low SES will be included in the research. Both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection will be used to obtain the relevant data. 

Data Collection Methods and Procedures

Structured questionnaires will be used to obtain the relevant data. Various questions will be included and the participants will be asked to respond to them. An actual count of people who are obese and overweight will be done to determine the quantitative analysis in a given population. Trained data collectors will collect the data and the consent to carry out the research will be requested from the relevant authorities. 

Data Analysis and Interpretation

Qualified data analysts will analyze the collected data using SPSS and any other data analysis software that will be considered useful in the analysis. The information will be presented in statistical presentation and made accessible to anyone who is willing to look at them. Each research question will be analyzed and interpreted differently. Graphs, charts and pie charts will be used to give the interpretation of the information. This will be made in the simplest form to facilitate understanding. The data will be made public to people who are interested in finding out the details to further their studies in obesity. The results will aim at showing the association between SES and the prevalence of obesity in the United States of America. 


Akee, R., et al. (2013). Young Adult Obesity and Household Income: Effects of Unconditional Cash Transfers

Coogan et al. (2010). Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status in Relation to 10-Year Weight Gain in the Black Women's Health Study .

Fradkin, C., Wallander, J.,Tortolero, S. Cuccaro,P., Elliot,M. and Schuster, M. (2014). Associations between Socioeconomic Status and Obesity in Diverse, Young Adolescents: Variation Across Race/Ethnicity and Gender

Mocanu, V. (2013). Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in Urban Elementary school Children in Northeastern Romania: Its Relationship with Socioeconomic Status and Associated Dietary and Lifestyle Factors.

Rahul, M. Malhorta, C., Chan, A. and Ostbye, T. ( 2012). Life-Course Socioeconomic Status and Obesity Among Older Singaporean Chinese Men and Women

Wong et al. (2014). Long Term Trends and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in the Prevalence of Obesity .

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 17). Socioeconomic Status Drives Adult Obesity Cases in the US.


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