Obesity/Underweight Disparities by Gender and Education in Mainland China and Taiwan
Chih-Chien Huang, Arizona State University
Jennie J. Kronenfeld, Arizona State University
This research compares obesity/underweight disparities by education level in China and Taiwan after 1989, based on two recent surveys: (1) China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS), (2) Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan (NAHSIT). Researchers use sex-stratified random-effects logistic models to estimate the educational disparities in the odds of obesity/underweight. Result: The obesity/underweight disparities by education level in China and Taiwan do not support the theory of fundamental causes when gender is taken into account. The effect of educational level on obesity shifts from positive to negative as the level of development in China progresses from low to high, and social gradients in obesity appear first among women. The risk of underweight is beginning to appear in women of higher education in both Taiwan and China. The evidence indicates that an internalized social norm where being skinny represents attractiveness among women has impacted Chinese societies.
Presented in Poster Session 7