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The trend of BMI values of US adults by deciles, birth cohorts 1882-1986 stratified by gender and ethnicity

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  • Komlos, John
  • Brabec, Marek

Abstract

We estimate trends in BMI values by deciles of the US adult population by birth cohorts 1882-1986 stratified by ethnicity and gender. The highest decile increased by some 18-22 BMI units in the course of the century while the lowest ones increased by merely 1-3 BMI units. For example, a typical African American woman in the 10th percentile and 64Â in. (162.6Â cm) tall increased in weight by just 12 pounds (5Â kg) whereas in the 90th percentile her weight would have increased by 128 pounds (58Â kg). Hence, the BMI distribution became increasingly right skewed as the distance between the deciles increased considerably. The rate of change of the BMI decile curves varied greatly over time and across gender and ethnicity. The BMI deciles of white men and women experienced upswings after the two world wars and downswings during the Great Depression and also decelerated after 1970. However, among African Americans the pattern is different during the first half of the century with men's rate of increase in BMI values decreasing substantially and that of females remaining constant at a relatively high level until the Second World War. After the war, though, the rate of change of BMI values of blacks came to resemble that of whites with an accelerating phase followed by a slowdown around the 1970s.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

Volume (Year): 9 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 234-250

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:9:y:2011:i:3:p:234-250

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

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Keywords: BMI USA NHANES Obesity Overweight Semiparametric modeling GAMLSS model Percentile estimation;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Scott A. Carson, 2012. "Nineteenth Century US Black and White Physical Activity and Nutritional Trends among the Working Class," CESifo Working Paper Series 3890, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Kapinos, Kandice A. & Yakusheva, Olga & Eisenberg, Daniel, 2014. "Obesogenic environmental influences on young adults: Evidence from college dormitory assignments," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 98-109.
  3. Cotti, Chad & Tefft, Nathan, 2013. "Fast food prices, obesity, and the minimum wage," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 134-147.
  4. Srinivasan, C.S., 2013. "Can adherence to dietary guidelines address excess caloric intake? An empirical assessment for the UK," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 574-591.
  5. Dodd, Mark C., 2014. "Intertemporal discounting as a risk factor for high BMI: Evidence from Australia, 2008," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 83-97.
  6. Hruschka, Daniel J. & Brewis, Alexandra A., 2013. "Absolute wealth and world region strongly predict overweight among women (ages 18–49) in 360 populations across 36 developing countries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 337-344.
  7. Wen, Ming & Maloney, Thomas N., 2014. "Neighborhood socioeconomic status and BMI differences by immigrant and legal status: Evidence from Utah," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 120-131.
  8. Daouli, Joan & Davillas, Apostolos & Demoussis, Michael & Giannakopoulos, Nicholas, 2014. "Obesity persistence and duration dependence: Evidence from a cohort of US adults (1985–2010)," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 30-44.
  9. Etile, Fabrice, 2014. "Education policies and health inequalities: Evidence from changes in the distribution of Body Mass Index in France, 1981–2003," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 46-65.

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