Obesity in France: widening gaps between social categories

Thibaut de Saint Pol, Insee

In France, corpulence in women, like men, has greatly increased since 1981 and the rate has accelerated since the 1990s. This change affects both young people and older people. However this process has not affected all social groups equally. Geographic differences have increased between the North and East, where obesity is most prevalent, and the Ile-de-France and the Mediterranean areas, where it is least prevalent. Similarly, the gap between socio-professional categories has grown considerably: since 1992 obesity has increased at a much higher rate among farmers and manual workers than among executives and higher intellectual professions. Unlike women, the poorest men are not the most overweight. At the same time, more and more people say they are following a diet. However they are not the ones who are most affected by obesity, which indicates that inequalities in terms of obesity may continue to grow.

Insee Première
No 1123
Paru le : 23/02/2007