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Open AccessArticle

Body Mass Index Trajectory–Specific Changes in Economic Circumstances: A Person-Oriented Approach Among Midlife and Ageing Finns

1
Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 20, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
2
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, P.O. Box 18, 00032 Helsinki, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3668; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103668
Received: 29 April 2020 / Revised: 18 May 2020 / Accepted: 19 May 2020 / Published: 22 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Determinants of Health and Population Ageing)
Economic disadvantage is related to a higher risk of adulthood obesity, but few studies have considered whether changes in economic circumstances depend on a person’s body mass index (BMI) trajectory. We identified latent BMI trajectories among midlife and ageing Finns and captured individual-level changes in economic circumstances within the BMI trajectories utilizing sequence analysis. We used the Helsinki Health Study cohort data of initially 40–60-year-old Finnish municipal employees, with four survey questionnaire phases (2000–2017). Each survey included identical questions on height and weight, and on economic circumstances incorporating household income and current economic difficulties. Based on computed BMI, we identified participants’ (n = 7105; 82% women) BMI trajectories over the follow-up using group-based trajectory modeling. Four BMI trajectories were identified: stable healthy weight (34% of the participants), stable overweight (42%), overweight to class I obesity (20%), and stable class II obesity (5%). Lower household income level and having economic difficulties became more common and persistent when moving from lower- to higher-level BMI trajectories. Differences in household income widened over the follow-up between the trajectory groups, whereas economic difficulties decreased equally in all trajectory groups over time. Our study provides novel information on the dynamic interplay between long-term BMI changes and economic circumstances. View Full-Text
Keywords: body mass index; economic difficulties; household income; obesity; sequence analysis; trajectory modeling; weight gain body mass index; economic difficulties; household income; obesity; sequence analysis; trajectory modeling; weight gain
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Salmela, J.; Lallukka, T.; Mauramo, E.; Rahkonen, O.; Kanerva, N. Body Mass Index Trajectory–Specific Changes in Economic Circumstances: A Person-Oriented Approach Among Midlife and Ageing Finns. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 3668.

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