Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

The Trend of Mean BMI Values of US Adults, Birth Cohorts 1882-1986 Indicates that the Obesity Epidemic Began Earlier than Hitherto Thought

Contents:

Author Info

  • John Komlos
  • Marek Brabec

Abstract

The trend in the BMI values of the US population has not been estimated accurately because time series data are unavailable and because the focus has been on calculating period effects. In contrast to the prevailing strategies, we estimate the trend and rate of change of BMI values by birth cohorts stratified by gender and ethnicity born 1882-1986. We use loess additive regression models to estimate age and trend effects of BMI values of US-born black and white adults measured between 1959 and 2006. We use all the NHES and NHANES survey data and find that the increase in BMI was already underway among the birth cohorts of the early 20th century. The rate of increase was fastest among black females; for the three other groups under consideration, the rates of increase were similar. The generally persistent upward trend was punctuated by upsurges, particularly after each of the two World Wars. That the estimated rate of change of BMI values increased by 71% among black females between the birth cohorts 1955 and those of 1965 is indicative of the rapid increases in their weight. We infer that transition to post-industrial weights was a gradual process and began considerably earlier than hitherto supposed.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15862.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15862.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as “The T rend of M ean BMI V alues of US Adults, birth cohorts 1882 - 1986 indicates that the obesity epidemic began earlier than hitherto thought.” with Ma rek Brabec American Journal of Human Biology , 22, (2010): 631 - 638. CESifo Working Paper No. 2987. NBER Working Paper no. 15862.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15862

Note: HE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Cawley, John & Meyerhoefer, Chad, 2012. "The medical care costs of obesity: An instrumental variables approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 219-230.
  2. John Komlos & Marek Brabec, 2010. "The Trend of BMI Values by Centiles of US Adults, Birth Cohorts 1882-1986," CESifo Working Paper Series 3132, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Scott A. Carson, 2013. "US Male Obesity from 1800-2000: A Long Term Perspective," CESifo Working Paper Series 4366, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. John Komlos & Marek Brabec, 2010. "The Trend of BMI Values of US Adults by Centiles, birth cohorts 1882-1986," NBER Working Papers 16252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ljungvall, Åsa & Zimmerman, Frederick J., 2012. "Bigger bodies: Long-term trends and disparities in obesity and body-mass index among U.S. adults, 1960–2008," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 109-119.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15862. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.