There is a significant difference in the roles of economic affluence in sex-specific obesity prevalence rates. Women are more likely to be obese than men in every economic stratum, but the gap is widest among the most affluent.
The most affluent women are nearly twice as likely to be obese as the most affluent men. The least affluent women are about 50% more likely to be obese as the least affluent men.
There are a number of possible explanations for this difference. One is that women are more likely than men to be dieting, and affluent women have the resources to pursue more extreme diets. Another possibility is that women are more likely than men to be sedentary, and affluent women have the resources to pursue a more sedentary lifestyle.
It is also possible that the difference is due to hormones. Women are more likely than men to be obese if they have high levels of estrogen, and affluent women have access to more estrogen-containing products, such as birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy.
Whatever the cause, the difference in obesity rates between affluent men and women is significant, and it has important implications for weight management. Affluent women need to be especially aware of the dangers of obesity, and they need to take steps to avoid it.