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

Highway alert
Planned closure of Highway 1 at Spuzzum Bridge Thursday

Bridge maintenance will be ongoing during the eight-hour closure this Thursday, Oct. 22

Owen Charpentier, 21, is charged with the Oct. 22, 2019 second-degree murder of Keith Baldwin in Chilliwack. (File)
Pre-trial dates set for Chilliwack man charged with Keith Baldwin’s murder

Owen Dale Charpentier accused in the fourth homicide of 2019 next in court June 2021

The 2020 Rotary Club of Chilliwack Book Sale is moving from Chilliwack Mall to Heritage Park to allow more room for physically-distanced shopping. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Rotary Book Sale moves from Chilliwack Mall to Heritage Park

The hugely-popular book sale is going ahead Oct. 25-31 with pandemic protocols in place

Massimo Rizzo (Penticton Vees, BCHL), middle, tries to out-maneuver two Team Canada East players during a preliminary game at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge. Team Canada West won the all-Canadian matchup 6-1.
Photo courtesy of Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images
Chilliwack Chiefs acquire Massimo Rizzo from Coquitlam Express

Chiefs hockey boss Brian Maloney has high expectations this season, and this trade is a sign of that

There have been several reports to the Chilliwack RCMP recently regarding a phone scam where the caller impersonates a local police officer and asks for money, they said on Oct. 19. 2020. (Miryam Leon/ Unsplash)
Chilliwack RCMP warn phone scammers are impersonating officers

RCMP officers would never solicit money or Bitcoin from someone, they assure the public

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers questions during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. sees record-breaking daily COVID infections with 499 new cases over weekend

Two people, both in the Lower Mainland, died due to the virus over the weekend

The RCMP helicopter. (File photo)
Suspect escapes after police pursuit through Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford

Police chase involved two stolen vehicles, including one taken in Mission

IIO Chief Civilian Director Ron MacDonald. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Police watchdog concludes Mounties didn’t shoot Surrey teen at strip mall

IIO finds tragic death of teenager ‘not the result of any actions or inactions’ by the Surrey RCMP

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

Emergency crews shut down White Rock’s Five Corners district on Feb. 19, 2020 after an altercation left an elderly man in critical condition. (File photo)
Trial dates set in White Rock manslaughter case

Proceedings against Ross Banner, 71, set for June 2021 in Surrey Provincial Court

The many faces of Daon Glasgow. (Photos: Surrey RCMP)
Glasgow found not guilty of trying to murder transit cop in Surrey

Transit Police Constable Josh Harms was shot Jan. 30, 2019 at Scott Road SkyTrain Station

Most Read