Obesity Among Low-income Women in the U.S.

Asbjørn Lupo Nilsson, Zachariah Khadudu Odhiambo, Mathias Bak, Marcus Lindgaard Breitenstein & Ulrikke Bjerre Henriksen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


Abstract This research project aims to address the issue of obesity, as well as the reason for why people become obese. We will use the United States as our main focus and use examples from the U.S. society. We will examine the fact that obesity is not only prevalent among the low-income population of the U.S., but more specifically the low-income women. This is why we formulated the following research question: How come obesity is prevalent among low-income women in the U.S.? However, the project will not only attempt to explain why the inverse association between income and obesity is only visible among women, and not men, but also how this seems to be even more prevalent among mothers and then further more among single mothers. We will use a two-dimensional approach to answer the research question: a microeconomic approach, and a gender approach. The first theory which we will use is a microeconomic theory, i.e. the theory of Food insecurity, which will explain how economical difficulties can influence a persons choice of food and in that way also the weight gain. We will also use a gender based theory, i.e., the Child prioritising theory, explaining how women, because of gender roles, are prioritising their children before themselves and how this can also put the mothers in a position where they will experience food insecurity themselves. Moreover the paper will combine the economic approach and the gender approach by using the Economic dependency theory, which includes a part about the gender gap in earnings and the gender roles, proceeding to explain how mothers depend economically on their husbands, can experience food insecurity when becoming single. The microeconomic theory of food insecurity forms the background of this research. Through food insecurity this research paper discusses the general problem area of obesity and why there is a prevalence among the low income groups and how gender roles and gender inequality, enforce food insecurity and increase obesity. Through food insecurity we discuss the concepts of agricultural subsidies, rational choice, energy density and economic dependency, children’s prioritising and how they link to the obesity epidemic. The project will follow a deductive approach, which means it will be aimed at revising a theory (i.e. Obesity in the U.S.). Following the deductive approach, the project will undergo a secondary research method. Hence no primary data collection was carried out. The research was based on library and internet material. The sources included books, journals, reports and websites. The theories used in this research complement each other in an attempt to try and carry out a balanced discussion about the problem area and the research question.

UddannelserBasis - International Samfundsvidenskabelig Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato13 jan. 2014
VejledereTatiana Fogelman


  • Women
  • Obesity
  • Energy Density
  • United States of America
  • Food Insecurity