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Are neighborhood education levels associated with BMI among adults in Cairo, Egypt?

Publication ,  Journal Article
Mowafi, M; Khadr, Z; Subramanian, SV; Bennett, G; Hill, A; Kawachi, I
Published in: Social science & medicine (1982)
April 2011

This study examined the association between area-level education and BMI among adults in Cairo, Egypt. A sample of 3993 households including 1990 men and 2003 women were analyzed from the 2007 Cairo Urban Inequity Study, a study which aimed to identify potential intra-urban inequities in health related to the environment and living conditions in Cairo. Using multilevel analysis, we found that residents of high education neighborhoods were significantly less likely to be obese compared to low education neighborhoods. An inverse association between neighborhood education and individual BMI was observed whereby each unit increase in percentage of households with greater than a high school education was associated with a 0.036 kg/m(2) decrease in BMI of individuals. This translated into a difference between high and low education neighborhoods of 6.86 kg (15.1 lb) for women based on an average height of 1.65 m and 6.10 kg (13.4 lb) for men based on an average height of 1.75 m after adjusting for sociodemographic, socioeconomic, health and environmental factors. These findings suggest that programs aiming to reduce BMI among adults in this setting may be well-served by focusing on education since it appears to have an effect at the neighborhood level over and above the impact it has at the individual level. This may be due to several factors such as greater access to knowledge and information regarding health and nutrition, greater food availability, and shifting cultural perceptions of beauty away from an ideal body shape of plumpness in favor of thinness in high education neighborhoods. The cross-sectional nature of our study does not allow for causal interpretations, however, so further studies exploring why the neighborhood education-BMI association is so significant is warranted.

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Published In

Social science & medicine (1982)

DOI

EISSN

1873-5347

ISSN

0277-9536

Publication Date

April 2011

Volume

72

Issue

8

Start / End Page

1274 / 1283

Related Subject Headings

  • Young Adult
  • Urban Population
  • Social Class
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Public Health
  • Obesity
  • Models, Statistical
  • Middle Aged
  • Male
  • Humans
 

Citation

APA
Chicago
ICMJE
MLA
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Mowafi, M., Khadr, Z., Subramanian, S. V., Bennett, G., Hill, A., & Kawachi, I. (2011). Are neighborhood education levels associated with BMI among adults in Cairo, Egypt? Social Science & Medicine (1982), 72(8), 1274–1283. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.01.032
Mowafi, Mona, Zeinab Khadr, S. V. Subramanian, Gary Bennett, Allan Hill, and Ichiro Kawachi. “Are neighborhood education levels associated with BMI among adults in Cairo, Egypt?Social Science & Medicine (1982) 72, no. 8 (April 2011): 1274–83. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.01.032.
Mowafi M, Khadr Z, Subramanian SV, Bennett G, Hill A, Kawachi I. Are neighborhood education levels associated with BMI among adults in Cairo, Egypt? Social science & medicine (1982). 2011 Apr;72(8):1274–83.
Mowafi, Mona, et al. “Are neighborhood education levels associated with BMI among adults in Cairo, Egypt?Social Science & Medicine (1982), vol. 72, no. 8, Apr. 2011, pp. 1274–83. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.01.032.
Mowafi M, Khadr Z, Subramanian SV, Bennett G, Hill A, Kawachi I. Are neighborhood education levels associated with BMI among adults in Cairo, Egypt? Social science & medicine (1982). 2011 Apr;72(8):1274–1283.
Journal cover image

Published In

Social science & medicine (1982)

DOI

EISSN

1873-5347

ISSN

0277-9536

Publication Date

April 2011

Volume

72

Issue

8

Start / End Page

1274 / 1283

Related Subject Headings

  • Young Adult
  • Urban Population
  • Social Class
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Public Health
  • Obesity
  • Models, Statistical
  • Middle Aged
  • Male
  • Humans