Psycho-social factors related to obesity and their associations with socioeconomic characteristics: the RECORD study

  • Sonsoles FuentesEmail author
  • Ruben Brondeel
  • Manuel Franco
  • Xisca Sureda
  • Pierre Traissac
  • Laura Kate Cleary
  • Basile Chaix
Original Article



We aimed to describe the main psycho-social factors related to obesity in an adult population and to develop a unified construct (psycho-social profiles), to explore the associations between socioeconomic characteristics and these psycho-social profiles.


In its second wave, the RECORD Study assessed 6460 participants aged 30–79 years living in the Paris region between 2011 and 2014. Factor analyses followed by cluster analysis were applied to identify psycho-social profiles related to obesity. The two psycho-social profiles were adverse profile—negative body image, underestimation of the impact of weight in quality of life, low weight-related self-efficacy, and weight-related external locus of control; and favorable profile—positive body image, high self-efficacy, and internal locus of control. The relationship between three socioeconomic dimensions—current socioeconomic status, childhood socioeconomic status, and neighborhood education status—and psycho-social profiles was assessed through binomial logistic regression adjusted for age, gender, depression, living alone, and weight status.


Contrary to hypotheses, there were no associations between socioeconomic characteristics and obesity-related psycho-social profiles after adjustment for body mass index. Depressive symptoms (OR 2.21, 95% CI 2.70, 4.04) and being female (3.31, 95% CI 2.70, 4.40) were associated with an adverse psycho-social profile.


Psycho-social profiles could help to understand the multifactorial nature of the determinants of obesity.

Level of evidence

Level V, cross-sectional descriptive study.


Obesity Socioeconomic status Childhood Residential neighborhood Psycho-social factors Depression 



The RECORD Study was funded by the Institute for Public Health Research (IReSP); the National Institute for Prevention and Health Education (INPES); the National Institute of Public Health Surveillance (InVS); the French Ministries of Research and Health; the National Health Insurance Office for Salaried Workers (CNAM-TS); the Ile-de-France Regional Health Agency (ARS); the Ile-de-France Regional Council; the National Research Agency (ANR); the City of Paris; and the Ile-de-France Youth, Sports, and Social Cohesion Regional Direction (DRJSCS).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all the authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in the study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the French national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. The French Data Protection Authority has approved the study protocol.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

40519_2018_638_MOESM1_ESM.docx (38 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 37 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Inserm, UMR-S 1136, Faculté de Médecine Saint-Antoine, Pierre Louis Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health, Nemesis TeamParisFrance
  2. 2.Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR-S 1136, Pierre Louis Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health, Nemesis TeamParisFrance
  3. 3.Social and Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Group, School of MedicineUniversity of AlcaláAlcalá de HenaresSpain
  4. 4.Department of EpidemiologyJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUS
  5. 5.IRD (French Research Institute for Sustainable Development), UMR NUTRIPASS, IRD—Univ. Montpellier—SupAgroMontpellierFrance

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