BMI Trajectories During the Transition to Older Adulthood: Persistent, Widening, or Diminishing Disparities by Ethnicity and Education?

TitleBMI Trajectories During the Transition to Older Adulthood: Persistent, Widening, or Diminishing Disparities by Ethnicity and Education?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsWalsemann, KM, Ailshire, JA
JournalResearch on Aging
Volume33
Issue3
KeywordsDemographics, Health Conditions and Status
Abstract

Previous research has produced inconsistent results on whether education and ethnic disparities in body mass index (BMI) persist, widen, or diminish over time. The authors investigate how education and ethnicity, independently and conditionally, influence BMI trajectories during the transition to older adulthood. Employing random coefficient modeling, the authors analyzed eight biennial waves of data (1992-2006) from the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative longitudinal study of individuals born between 1931 and 1941. After adjusting for health behaviors and health status, education and ethnic disparities in BMI persisted for most groups, but narrowed between high-educated White men and both low-educated Hispanic men and high-educated Black men. As such, the findings generally support the persistent inequality interpretation. Therefore, even though interventions targeted at earlier points in the life course may be effective in reducing BMI disparities in later life, social and health policies directed at reducing obesity among older adults is also warranted

Endnote Keywords

Body mass index/Older people/Ethnicity/Education/Health behavior/Obesity/Aging

Endnote ID

62500

Citation Key7592