Background The prevalence of obesity and overweight is rapidly increasing in industrialized countries, with long-term health and social consequences. There is also a strong social patterning of obesity and overweight, with a higher prevalence among women, racial/ethnic minorities and those from a lower socio-economic position (SEP). Most of the existing work in this area, however, is based on cross-sectional data or single cohort studies. No national studies to date have examined how social disparities in obesity and overweight differ by age and historical period using longitudinal data with repeated measures
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