Guided by the psycho-social environment approach to explaining health inequalities, this cross-sectional study aimed to assess the contribution of individual and community factors to explaining ethnic inequalities in overweight and obesity between Arab and Jewish mothers of young children in Israel. Data (N = 946, 371 Jewish, 575 Arab mothers) were collected by self-report questionnaire in mid-2015 as part of a special 'Preparation for School' project for children aged 5-6 years from twenty Mother and Child Health clinics in towns and villages of lowest socio-economic ranking in northern Israel. Multinomial logistic regression models were conducted to assess the effect of socio-economic status (SES), psychological, lifestyle behaviour and community food-related practices on mediating the association of ethnicity with overweight and obesity. Overweight and obesity were significantly higher among Arab mothers. The strength of the association of ethnicity with overweight [(odds ratio) OR = 1.80, 95 per cent confidence interval (CI) = 1.31, 2.47] or obesity (OR = 2.14. 95 per cent CI = 1.44, 3.18) remained constant after SES, and other variables were included in two steps. The persistence of ethnic inequalities suggests that the variables included in the analysis did not explain inequalities in this disadvantaged population. Social work may contribute to understanding additional explanatory variables that have the potential to be amenable to change by multidisciplinary and social work interventions.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The study was funded by grant from the Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research, No. 2013/71.
© 2019 The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The British Association of Social Workers. All rights reserved.
- ethnic inequality
- socio-economic disadvantage