Income and Education Impact Teen Obesity, Depression

March 21, 2017

Income and Education Impact Teen Obesity, Depression

From HealthDayNews

Depression and obesity in teens can be affected by a family's income and education level, says a study by researchers from Brandeis University in Massachusetts and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

The analysis of more than 15,000 young people in the United States found about a third of the cases of depression and obesity among those teens could be attributed to being from families with low incomes or having parents with low levels of education.

"Socioeconomic status accounts for a large proportion of the disease burden within the whole population. To understand youth health and behaviors, the context in which youth live must be considered," researcher Dr. Elizabeth Goodman, of Brandeis University, says in a prepared statement.

The study appears in the November 2003 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

It found lower family income accounted for 26 percent of depression and 32 percent of obesity cases among the teens. Lower parental education was associated with 40 percent of depression and 39 percent of obesity among the teens.

Lower parental education was a stronger factor than income for both depression and obesity, the study concluded.

"Education's effect may relate more to differences in coping styles and other interpersonal skills, whereas income's effect may be more strongly associated with material goods and services," Goodman says.

"Obesity and depression represent critical public health problems for today's youth, because both are highly prevalent chronic diseases that track into adulthood," she says.


March 21, 2017

Reviewed By:  

Godsey, Cynthia M.S., M.S.N., APRN,Lambert, J.G. M.D.,Laura FiveashLaura Fiveash DrPH MPH RD