Date of Award

5-10-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Mathew Gayman

Second Advisor

Donald Reitzes

Third Advisor

Lesley Reid

Abstract

Current estimates indicate that nearly 67 percent of all U.S. adults are overweight or obese. To assist public health efforts aimed at reducing obesity, this study examines the independent relationships between adult obesity and three primary indicators of SES (education, occupation, income). This study also investigates potential mediators in the relationship between SES and obesity, and whether the SES – obesity relationship varies by physical disability status. Logistic regressions are employed; results indicate that contrary to those with a physical disability, education and income are each independently associated with overweight/obesity for those without a physical disability, while occupational prestige is not independently associated with overweight/obesity for those without a physical disability. Among those with a physical disability, the relationship between occupational prestige and overweight/obesity is partially explained by race-ethnicity and smoker status. Among those without a physical disability, results underscore the importance of education and income for overweight/obesity risk.

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