The purpose of this study was to analyze trends and disparities in obesity by education among Finnish men and women aged 65-84 years from 1993 to 2003. METHOD.: Data were derived from nationally representative monitoring surveys conducted biennially from 1993 to 2003 by the National Public Health Institute (KTL). In total, 5740 men and 5746 women were included in the study (response rate 80%). Obesity was set as body mass index (BMI) >or=30, based on self-reported measurements. Age adjusted trends were examined by education and gender. A logistic regression model was used to study educational disparities in obesity.
Obesity trends were similar among men and women. The prevalence of obesity increased in both educational groups over the ten-year period. Throughout the period, those with lower education had higher risk of obesity, and educational disparities persisted at about the same level.
Obesity is increasing among older people. Information on continuing socioeconomic disparities in obesity is important for those targeting health promotion activities.