The aim of the study was to assess the interaction between occupational and leisure time physical activities (LTPA) as well as socioeconomical status (SES), lifestyles and dietary habits on the prevalences of overweight and obesity in employed and unemployed (housewife) urban premenopausal Turkish women. Among 1209 women surveyed 508 premenopausal ones between 20 and 45 years of age were included in the study. Overweight prevalence in the employed (47.3% versus 36.2%) and obesity prevalence in the unemployed women (housewives) were higher (42.2% versus 11.6%). The ratio of family history for obesity, comorbid diseases, habit of < 30 min of walking/day, consuming meals twice/day, preference of vegetables were higher in the housewives. Employed women had a higher SES scoring, education level, percentage of no habit of walking, consuming meals thrice per day, preference for protein, smoking and alcohol consumption. Housewife group had a higher glucose level measured while employed group higher total cholesterol. Age, waist circumference (WaC), having one or two meals/day versus three or four meals/day, having lunch at home versus outdoor lunch, having one parity versus none were the main predictors of obesity. Our results indicated that lifestyle interventions should be afforded for increasing LTPA for both employed and unemployed women since overweight and obesity prevalences are high in both. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.