A UBC study found that older women without social ties are more likely to be affected by obesity. (Submitted)

Obesity in older women linked to lack of social ties, UBC study

“Clinicians could be encouraging older women patients who are non-partnered, especially widowed women, to participate in social community interventions as a way to address obesity.”

Women without social ties have greater likelihood of being obese compared to men in the same situation, according to a new study from UBC published in PLOS One.

The study analyzed the social ties of 28,238 adults aged 45 to 85, linking that to stats such as body mass index and waist circumference – common indicators of general obesity. The study found that women who were single, widowed, divorced or separated had higher likelihood of being affected by general obesity than men.

“There is a lot of literature suggesting that marriage is health-promoting for men and potentially less so for women, so our results about marital status were kind of surprising,” said Annalijn Conklin, principal investigator of the study and assistant professor in pharmaceutical sciences at UBC.

Zeinab Hosseini, lead author of the study, said in a press release that more research is needed to completely “understand the factors at work,” but suggested that more needs to be done to encourage older women to build social ties.

“This would require clear implementation strategies, and a focus on social connection interventions by health care researchers and decision-makers,” said Hosseini.

ALSO READ: Canadians not getting enough light exercise during pandemic, UBC study finds

Conklin added that building these social ties could include activities like visiting friends and family, and engaging in group hobbies that encourage older adults to build connections outside their existing circles.

The study did not investigate why these gender differences exist, but Conklin suggested that they may be due to social expectations of gender roles.

“The type of work we did was taking a big data set and looking at how relationships affect men and women,” said Conklin. “That topic would require a completely different type of study, and maybe that’s the next step.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

HealthSeniors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Art+Earth Festival gets growing this weekend

Find out what events are in-person and what’s happening online

Vancouver Island under a thunderstorm watch tonight

Environment Canada forecasts downpour and possible thunder and lightning

VIJHL season could start Oct. 1, says league president

League awaiting final approval from local health authorities and viaSport

Vancouver Island NDP MP responds to Liberal’s throne speech

’Feds say nice things but when it comes to taking action it’s a different story’ says North Island- Powell River MP, Rachel Blaney

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

Most Read