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Using relative distributions to investigate the body mass index in England and Canada

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  • Paul Contoyannis

    (Department of Economics, McMaster University, Canada)

  • John Wildman

Abstract

In this paper we use relative distributions to examine changes in the distribution of the body mass index (BMI) in England and Canada during the period 1994|5-2000|1. The use of relative distributions allows us to describe changes in the whole distribution of the BMI in a non-parametric fashion. While statistics analogous to the Gini index can be constructed based on the relative distribution, important characteristics of changes in the distribution of the BMI such as changes in the proportions overweight and obese are more naturally handled using measures of relative polarization. Our results show that while BMI has increased in both countries, BMI in England has increased at a much faster rate than in Canada. Both groups show polarization over time towards both tails of the weight distribution, with the English polarizing towards the upper tail at a faster rate than Canadians. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.1240
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 16 (2007)
Issue (Month): 9 ()
Pages: 929-944

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:16:y:2007:i:9:p:929-944

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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  1. Anderson, Gordon, 2004. "Toward an empirical analysis of polarization," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 1-26, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Joan Costa-Font & Daniele Fabbri & Joan Gil, 2008. "Decomposing Body Mass Index Gaps Between Mediterranean Countries: A Counterfactual Quantile Regression Analysis," Working Papers 2008-11, FEDEA.
  2. Janoes, A; & Rice, N; & Robone, S; & Rosa Dias, P;, 2010. "Inequality and Polarisation in Health Systems’ Responsiveness: A Cross-Country Analysis," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 10/27, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  3. Luis Fernando Gamboa & Nohora Y. Forero Ramírez, 2009. "Body mass index as a standard of living measure: a different interpretation for the case of Colombia," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 005218, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
  4. Judith A. Clarke & Ahmed A. Hoque, 2014. "On Variance Estimation for a Gini Coefficient Estimator Obtained from Complex Survey Data," Econometrics Working Papers 1401, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
  5. Jamie Spinney & Hugh Millward, 2010. "Time and Money: A New Look at Poverty and the Barriers to Physical Activity in Canada," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 99(2), pages 341-356, November.
  6. 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.
  7. Joan Costa-Font & Daniele Fabbri & Joan Gil, 2008. "Decomposing Cross-Country Gaps in Obesity and Overweight: Does the Social Environment Matter?," Working Papers in Economics 205, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.

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