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  • 1.
    Yusuf, Fethi Mohammed
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health.
    San Sebastián, Miguel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Vaezghasemi, Masoud
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Explaining gender inequalities in overweight people: a Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition analysis in northern Sweden2023In: International Journal for Equity in Health, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 22, no 1, article id 159Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Being overweight and obesity are considered serious public health concerns worldwide. At the population level, factors contributing to overweight as well as the differences in overweight between men and women in terms of prevalence or associated factors are relatively well-known. What is less known is what explains the inequalities in overweight between men and women. In this study, we examined the contribution of material, behavioural, and psychosocial factors in explaining the gender differences in overweight among adults in northern Sweden.

    Methods: This study was based on the 2018 Swedish Health on Equal Terms survey, which was carried out in Sweden’s four northernmost regions. The analytical sample consisted of 20,855 participants (47% men) aged 20–84 years. Overweight (including obesity) was the outcome, and the selected explanatory variables were grouped according to three theoretical perspectives: material, behavioural and psychosocial. Descriptive statistics and Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition were applied for analysing the data.

    Results: Our study showed that the prevalence of overweight was 64% and 52% among men and women, respectively. It, therefore, revealed a gender gap in overweight people of 11.7% points with explanatory factors accounting for 39% of that gap. This gender gap in overweight people was mostly explained by behavioural variables (19.3%), followed by the materialistic variables and age accounting for 16.2% and 3.1%, respectively. Specifically, having low education, being in the lowest income quintile, alcohol drinking and snus usage contributed to explain 8.4%, 8.9%, 2.8% and 6.3% of the gender difference, respectively.

    Conclusions: We found a considerable gender inequality in overweight between men and women. The findings highlight that future overweight prevention initiatives would benefit from targeting the uncovered contributing factors to reduce gender inequalities in overweight people.

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