Psycho-social factors related to obesity and their associations with socioeconomic characteristics: the RECORD study

Eat Weight Disord. 2020 Jun;25(3):533-543. doi: 10.1007/s40519-018-00638-9. Epub 2019 Feb 7.


Objectives: We aimed to describe the main psycho-social factors related to obesity in an adult population and to develop a unified construct (psycho-social profiles), to explore the associations between socioeconomic characteristics and these psycho-social profiles.

Methods: In its second wave, the RECORD Study assessed 6460 participants aged 30-79 years living in the Paris region between 2011 and 2014. Factor analyses followed by cluster analysis were applied to identify psycho-social profiles related to obesity. The two psycho-social profiles were adverse profile-negative body image, underestimation of the impact of weight in quality of life, low weight-related self-efficacy, and weight-related external locus of control; and favorable profile-positive body image, high self-efficacy, and internal locus of control. The relationship between three socioeconomic dimensions-current socioeconomic status, childhood socioeconomic status, and neighborhood education status-and psycho-social profiles was assessed through binomial logistic regression adjusted for age, gender, depression, living alone, and weight status.

Results: Contrary to hypotheses, there were no associations between socioeconomic characteristics and obesity-related psycho-social profiles after adjustment for body mass index. Depressive symptoms (OR 2.21, 95% CI 2.70, 4.04) and being female (3.31, 95% CI 2.70, 4.40) were associated with an adverse psycho-social profile.

Conclusions: Psycho-social profiles could help to understand the multifactorial nature of the determinants of obesity.

Level of evidence: Level V, cross-sectional descriptive study.

Keywords: Childhood; Depression; Obesity; Psycho-social factors; Residential neighborhood; Socioeconomic status.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Image / psychology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / psychology
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / etiology*
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Factors
  • Waist Circumference