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How Subjective Social Status Impacts BMI

Obesity; ePub 2017 Dec 27; Dhurandhar, et al

Subjective social status appears to play a role in the relationship between socioeconomic factors and BMI, according to a cross-sectional, structural equation path analysis involving >2,600 individuals. Participants were from the CARDIA study. Investigators looked at whether subjective social status, education, and income were linked with BMI at their year 20 assessment. Among the results, after adjusting for certain variables:

  • Subjective social status significantly and directly impacted BMI.
  • Education had a significant direct relationship with subjective social status.
  • It also had a small but significant indirect relationship with BMI through subjective social status.
  • BMI had a significant indirect relationship through subjective social status.


Dhurandhar E, Pavela G, Kaiser K, et al. Body mass index and subjective social status: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study. [Published online ahead of print December 27, 2017]. Obesity. doi:10.1002/oby.22047.