Socioeconomic Disadvantage in Australia

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Article Critique: Socioeconomic disadvantage and changes in health risk behaviours in Australia: 1989-90 to 2001 by Najman, Toloo, & Siskind In this study, Najman et al. sought to examine changes over time in the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and smoking status, physical activity, and being overweight or obese in Australia over a twelve-year period. They used data found in three successive national health surveys, which were conducted in 1989, 1995, and 2001. Survey participants were selected with a national probability sampling strategy by the surveying agency, not by these particular researchers. The information was collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which surveyed the health habits of Australians. The survey also used the Index of Relative Socioeconomic Disadvantage, which is a tool that was developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and it looks at the socioeconomic characteristics of people living in a specific geographical area. Therefore, while survey respondents were not specifically asked about their personal socioeconomic status, information about that status was derived from information about where they lived. Overall, the study revealed that men were less healthy than women. It showed that people in lower SES areas were more likely to smoke, more likely to be obese, and less likely to exercise. The least SES disadvantaged areas has the greatest decrease in the percentage of people smoking tobacco, the largest decrease
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