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Sociodemographic factors associated with reported attempts at weight loss and specific dietary regimens in Sweden: The SWEDIET-2017 study

Journal article
Authors Linnea Bärebring
Anna Winkvist
Hanna Augustin
Published in Plos One
Volume 13
Issue 5
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition
Language en
Keywords body-mass index, adult body, satisfaction, women, perception, overweight, countries, behavior, gender, trends
Subject categories Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology, Nutrition and Dietetics


The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of active weight loss attempts in Sweden, and to study the extent to which overweight individuals may or may not correctly identify themselves as overweight. Additional aims were to determine the sociodemographic factors associated with following a specific dietary regimen and with attempts at losing weight. A postal questionnaire was sent to 2000 randomly selected men and women living in Sweden. The inclusion criteria was an age of 20-65 years. In total, the response rate was 28% and the completed questionnaires from 555 participants were analyzed in this study. In total, 46% of participants were overweight or obese by self-reported height and weight. Additionally, 42% of overweight and 90% of obese individuals correctly identified themselves as being overweight. Weight loss was pursued by 41% and was more common among women, those with higher physical activity, higher BMI and higher socioeconomic position. Overall, 22% followed a specific diet, and following a dietary regimen was associated with female gender, higher education level and overweight. In conclusion, almost half of the participants were either overweight or trying to lose weight. Trying to lose weight and following a specific dietary regimen were related to female gender, high BMI and higher socioeconomic position. This could indicate that the socioeconomic disparities in health are further exacerbated, as overweight individuals with poor socioeconomic position might be more likely to remain overweight.

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