Objective: To determine the size of obesity differences associated with educational level in the adult population in Spain.
Design: Three cross sectional studies representative of the adult population in Spain were carried out in 1987, 1995, and 1997.
Setting: The general population in Spain.
Participants: 11 461 men and 10 219 women aged 25 to 64 years.
Main results: For both men and women the obesity prevalence was highest in those with elementary education. In 1987 the obesity prevalence proportion associated with less than third level education (PA) was 24.5% (95% CI 6.0 to 42.8) and 47.9% (15.7 to 71.8) in men and women, respectively. The PAs in 1995/97 were 19.8% (0.2 to 40.2) and 55.1% (21.3 to 72.8).
Conclusions: In 1995/97 the burden of obesity associated with less than third level education was 20% in men and 55% in women aged 25 to 64 years. Between 1987 and 1997 the obesity prevalence proportion associated with less than third level education increased in women and decreased in men.
- social differences
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Conflicts of interest: none.