A new thesis from the Lund University School of Economics and Management, Sweden, shows that obesity is increasing across all social groups and that we need to look at factors other than socioeconomic status to understand and solve one of the major public health concerns of the Western world.
Åsa Ljungvall, a researcher in economics at the Lund University School of Economics and Management, has studied the increase in numbers of people who are overweight or obese over recent decades in Sweden and the US.
“My studies show that the increase in the problem of obesity is taking place across a broad front in all socioeconomic groups. So even if there are differences between different levels of education and income, people are affected fairly evenly by the increase – sometimes even in ways that reduce inequality between the groups. The obesity epidemic is taking place independently of socioeconomic status and affects people more equally than we have previously thought”, says Åsa Ljungvall.
Even if the average waist measurement of a Swede is less than that of an average American, Åsa Ljungvall’s comparative studies indicate similarities.
“We are seeing the same tendency in Sweden as in the US, where the increases in obesity, severe obesity and BMI since 1960 are very similar for groups with different levels of education and income.”
“As we are seeing major increases in all socioeconomic groups, it is perhaps not related to the fact that we don’t know any better or cannot afford to do otherwise. There is something else that affects our behaviour more.”
So why have we become larger and what can be done about the problem? In Åsa Ljungvall’s view, we need to look at something other than socioeconomic factors like education and income to understand and solve one of the major public health problems of the Western world. It is important to keep the distribution of the problem in mind when discussing causes and possible solutions.
At the same time as the major rise in obesity, we have experienced rapid economic and technological development, which is likely to have influenced what choices we make with regard to diet and physical activity. These changes seem to have entailed difficulties in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and weight.
“How are we affected by factors such as quality and quantity of available food and drink, stress and uncertainty, opportunities for daily exercise, marketing and information?” asks Åsa Ljungvall rhetorically. “Factors such as these affect how difficult it is for people to make the ‘right’ choices and create good habits and norms.”For more information, please contact:
Henrik Killander, Press Officer at the School of Economics and Management, Lund University. Tel. +46 46 222 80 73 or email Henrik.Killander@ehl.lu.seFor more information, please contact:
Henrik Killander, Press Officer at the School of Economics and Management, Lund University. Tel. +46 46 222 80 73 or email Henrik.Killander@ehl.lu.se
Helga Ekdahl Heun | idw
Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University
The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy