Over-indebtedness as a marker of socioeconomic status and its association with obesity: a cross-sectional studyReport as inadecuate

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BMC Public Health

, 9:286

First Online: 07 August 2009Received: 11 February 2009Accepted: 07 August 2009DOI: 10.1186-1471-2458-9-286

Cite this article as: Münster, E., Rüger, H., Ochsmann, E. et al. BMC Public Health 2009 9: 286. doi:10.1186-1471-2458-9-286


BackgroundThe recent credit crunch will have implications for private households. Low socioeconomic status is associated to various diseases. While income, education and occupational status is frequently used in definitions of socioeconomic status, over-indebtedness of private households is usually not considered. Over-indebtedness is currently increasing in high-income countries. However, its association with health – particularly with obesity – remains unknown. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess an association between over-indebtedness and overweight or obesity.

MethodsA cross-sectional study on over-indebtedness and health including 949 over-indebted subjects from 2006 and 2007 in Rhineland-Palatinate and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Germany and the telephonic health survey 2003 of the Robert Koch-Institute including 8318 subjects, who are representative for the German population, were analysed with adjusted logistic regression considering overweight BMI ≥25.0 kg-m and obesity BMI ≥30 kg-m as response variable.

ResultsAfter adjusting for socio-economic age, sex, education, income and health factors depression, smoking habits an independent effect of the over-indebt situation on the probability of overweight aOR 1.97 95%-CI 1.65–2.35 and obesity aOR 2.56 95%-CI 2.07–3.16 could be identified.

ConclusionOver-indebtedness was associated with an increased prevalence of overweight and obesity that was not explained by traditional definitions of socioeconomic status. Over-indebtedness should be additionally considered when assessing health effects of socioeconomic status.

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Author: Eva Münster - Heiko Rüger - Elke Ochsmann - Stephan Letzel - André M Toschke

Source: https://link.springer.com/


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