We know that there are differences in health behaviours (e.g. diet, physical activity and sleep) and health outcomes (e.g. cardiovascular disease) according to socioeconomic position. Our recent research suggests that these health inequalities start to emerge in early adulthood (age 16-24), as individuals finish their education and enter the labour market. Improving our understanding of the factors that contribute to the development of health inequalities over this period will help to identify targets for public health policy and intervention.
We currently know little about the factors which might influence health behaviours and long-term health over this transition from education into work. Changes in daily activities, physical environment, social networks or personal finances might all influence changes in health behaviours (diet, physical activity and sleep), with long-term health implications. This project will make use of data from national surveys and new data collection, applying epidemiological methods to understand the changes in health behaviours (diet, physical activity and sleep) that occur as people start their first job, analyse how changing individual, social, and environmental determinants are associated with these changes in health behaviours, and investigate how these patterns differ between different groups of the population leading to health inequalities.
For more information or informal discussion about this project or similar projects, please contact Dr Eleanor Winpenny – Eleanor.Winpenny@mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk