Socioeconomics of Obesity

Curr Obes Rep. 2020 Sep;9(3):272-279. doi: 10.1007/s13679-020-00398-7.


Purpose of review: The purpose of this review is to evaluate and emphasize important findings in the recent literature regarding the socioeconomics of obesity. It is important to evaluate trends of this global epidemic and elucidate its impact on different demographic groups and across socioeconomic strata.

Recent findings: Obesity rates continue to increase domestically and globally which is associated with a concomitant rise in medical and economic costs. There are disparities in obesity rates based on race/ethnicity, sex, gender and sexual identity, and socioeconomic status, yet these disparities are not explained fully by health behaviors, socioeconomic position, or cumulative stress alone-community and societal environmental factors have a significant role in the obesity epidemic. Socioeconomic factors contribute to obesity on an individual and community level, and any viable approach to sustainably addressing the obesity epidemic must take these factors into account.

Keywords: Body mass index; Gender; Minority; Obesity; Race; Socioeconomic status.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / economics*
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Class
  • Socioeconomic Factors*