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Body Mass Index and the Measurement of Obesity

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Author Info

  • David Madden

    (University College Dublin)

Abstract

This paper proposes a new method of measuring obesity using Body Mass Index (BMI) data. Conventional measures which simply count the number of individuals with BMI in excess of an upper limit ignore the extent by which individuals exceed BMI limits and also the increased risk ratios for various conditions associated very high levels of BMI. This paper suggests that measures currently used in the poverty literature can be usefully applied to measure obesity and provide us with measures which may be more relevant from a policy perspective. The approach is applied to data for Ireland.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/economics/research/papers/2006/WP06.27.pdf
File Function: First version, 2006
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School Of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200627.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: 13 Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200627

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Postal: UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4
Phone: +353-1-7067777
Fax: +353-1-283 0068
Web page: http://www.ucd.ie/economics
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Keywords: Obesity; Body Mass Index;

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References

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  1. Nolan, Brian & Gannon, Brenda & Layte, Richard & Watson, Dorothy & Whelan, Christopher T. & Williams, James, 2002. "Monitoring Poverty Trends in Ireland: Results from the 2000 Living in Ireland survey," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS45.
  2. John Cawley & Richard V. Burkhauser, 2006. "Beyond BMI: The Value of More Accurate Measures of Fatness and Obesity in Social Science Research," NBER Working Papers 12291, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Atkinson, A B, 1987. "On the Measurement of Poverty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 749-64, July.
  4. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  5. Madden, D. & Smith, F., 2000. "Poverty in Ireland, 1987-1994: a Stochastic Dominance Approach," Papers 00/13, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  6. Bleichrodt, Han & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2006. "A welfare economics foundation for health inequality measurement," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 945-957, September.
  7. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
  8. Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna, 2005. "The Obesity Epidemic in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 1814, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bhagowalia, Priya & Chen, Susan E. & Masters, William A., 2008. "The Distribution Of Child Nutritional Status Across Countries And Over Time," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6167, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  2. Priya Bhagowalia & Susan E. Chen & William A. Masters, 2009. "Effects And Determinants Of Mild Underweight Among Preschool Children Across Countries And Over Time," Working Papers 09-13, Purdue University, College of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  3. Laudicella, M & Cookson, R & Jones, A.M & Rice, N, 2008. "Health care deprivation profiles in the measurement of inequality and inequity: an application to GP fundholding in the English NHS," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 08/06, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  4. Gannon, Brenda & Layte, Richard & McGregor, Pat & Madden, David & Nolan, Anne & O'Neill, Ciaran & Smith, Samantha, 2007. "The Provision and Use of Health Services, Health Inequalities and Health and Social Gain," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BMI196 edited by Nolan, Brian.

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