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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

The prevalence of excessive weight in Balearic Islands’ young and middle-aged women and its association with social and socioeconomic factors: a ten-year trend (2000–2010)

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Josep Ll. Coll, Maria del Mar Bibiloni, Rogelio Salas, Antoni Pons, Josep A. Tur
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

MMB, AP and JAT conceived, designed, devised and supervised the study. MMB, JLC and RS collected and supervised the samples. MMB, JLC and JAT analysed the data and wrote the manuscript. All the authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Knowledge about trends in the socioeconomic patterning of overweight and obesity in women provides insights into the nature of the obesity epidemic. Therefore the aim was to assess a ten-year trend (2000–2010) in the prevalence of excessive weight in Balearic Islands’ women and its association with socioeconomic factors.


Young (18–35 year-old) and middle-aged (36–55 year-old) women were selected from two population-based cross-sectional nutritional surveys carried out in the Balearic Islands, Spain. The participation rate was 80 % during 1999–2000 and 92.5 % during 2009–2010. Measured weight and height was obtained, and body mass index (kg/m2) was classified as follows: overweight (25.0 < 30), obese (≥30) and excessive weight (≥25). In both surveys, a general questionnaire including questions relating to socioeconomic status factors was used. Logistic regression was used to examine the association of excessive weight with socioeconomic variables and to test the interaction between the survey period and the socioeconomic factors.


Overall, while the prevalence of obesity mainly remained stable over the study period, the prevalence of overweight increased from 21.0 to 24.8 %. Young women showed an increased prevalence of overweight and excessive weight, from 14.1 to 20.9 % and from 20.9 to 28.6 %, respectively. Significant differences were not found in middle-aged women. Over the whole period, the incidence of excessive weight was higher among middle-aged and foreign women, but lower in women with a high educational profile and in employment. The prevalence of excessive weight in young women was also around 2.5 times higher in women who were living with at least one child at home. The tendency towards excessive weight in employed women decreased significantly between 2000 and 2010 in the younger age group (OR: 0.42; 95 % CI: 0.22–0.82).


No significant increase in the prevalence of overweight/obesity was observed in middle-aged women, with a low level of education being the single socioeconomic variable associated with excessive weight in this target group. Overweight/obesity increased in young women with unemployment being the distinguishing socioeconomic factor associated with this increase.
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