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Socioeconomic differences in attitudes and beliefs about healthy lifestyles

Wardle, J; Steptoe, A; (2003) Socioeconomic differences in attitudes and beliefs about healthy lifestyles. J EPIDEMIOL COMMUN H , 57 (6) 440 - 443. Green open access

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Abstract

Study objectives: The factors underlying socioeconomic status differences in smoking, leisure time physical activity, and dietary choice are poorly understood. This study investigated attitudes and beliefs that might underlie behavioural choices, including health locus of control, future salience, subjective life expectancy, and health consciousness, in a nationally representative sample.Design: Data were collected as part of the monthly Omnibus survey of the Office of National Statistics in Britain. Participants: A stratified, probability sample of 2728 households was selected by random sampling of addresses. One adult from each household was interviewed.Main results: Higher SES respondents were less likely to smoke and more likely to exercise and eat fruit and vegetables daily. Lower SES was associated with less health consciousness (thinking about things to do to keep healthy), stronger beliefs in the influence of chance on health, less thinking about the future, and lower life expectancies. These attitudinal factors were in turn associated with unhealthy behavioural choices, independently of age, sex, and self rated health.Conclusions: Socioeconomic differences in healthy lifestyles are associated with differences in attitudes to health that may themselves arise through variations in life opportunities and exposure to material hardship and ill health over the life course.

Type: Article
Title: Socioeconomic differences in attitudes and beliefs about healthy lifestyles
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Keywords: SOCIAL-CLASS, ADULTS, BEHAVIORS, PATTERNS, LOCUS
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1466
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