uu.seUppsala University Publications
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
The contribution of childhood and adult socioeconomic position to adult obesity and smoking behaviour: an international comparison
Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden .
Show others and affiliations
2005 (English)In: International Journal of Epidemiology, ISSN 0300-5771, E-ISSN 1464-3685, Vol. 34, no 2, 335-344 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


Our objective was to investigate the contribution of childhood and adult socioeconomic position (SEP) to adult obesity and smoking behaviour, in particular to establish the role of childhood circumstances across different studies in Europe and the US.


Seven population-based surveys in six Western countries (Britain, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, US) were examined, with participants aged 30-50 yr and born between 1910 and 1960. Adult smoking was analysed using three outcomes (ever, current, or ex-) and adult obesity was defined as body mass index (kg/m(2)) > or =30.


A strong effect of adult social position was observed for smoking outcomes and obesity. For example, manual SEP in adulthood increased the risk of ever smoking (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.47-2.00 for men; 0.94-1.81 for women), and obesity (adjusted OR 1.06-2.24 for men, 1.21-3.26 for women). In most studies, childhood position was not associated with ever-smoking. For current smoking, manual childhood position was associated among women (adjusted OR 1.09-1.54), but no consistent pattern was seen for men. For ex-smoking, manual childhood origins lowered the chance of quitting among women (adjusted OR 0.64-0.81) except in the US (OR = 1.17); among men this association was seen in fewer studies (adjusted OR 0.74-1.09). For obesity, manual origins increased the risk for women (adjusted OR 0.96-2.50); effects were weaker among men but mostly in the same direction (adjusted OR 0.79-1.42).


As expected, adult SEP was an important influence on smoking behaviour and obesity. In addition, factors related to disadvantaged social origins appeared to increase the risk of obesity and reduce the probability of quitting smoking in adulthood, particularly in women.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 34, no 2, 335-344 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-142251DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyh394PubMedID: 15659473OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-142251DiVA: diva2:387174
Available from: 2011-01-13 Created: 2011-01-13 Last updated: 2013-12-09Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textPubMed

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Hallqvist, Johan
In the same journal
International Journal of Epidemiology
Medical and Health Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 141 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link