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Does Economic Insecurity Cause Weight Gain Among Canadian Labor Force Participants?

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  • Barry Watson

Abstract

The National Population Health Survey (NPHS) suggests that for labor force participants age 25 to 64, the prevalence of self†reported obesity in Canada has increased from 16 percent in 1998 to 23 percent in 2008. Using six cycles of NPHS data (1998–2009), I explore Canada's obesity dilemma by considering the effect of economic insecurity—measured as the probability of an individual experiencing a severe negative economic shock. As an identification strategy, a fixed effects model is employed to control for unobserved time†invariant heterogeneity and a set of instruments based on an individual's economic environment are specified in order to isolate causality. Results suggest that for males age 25 to 64, a 1 percent increase in economic insecurity is predicted to increase their body mass index (BMI) by 0.10 points. For females age 25 to 64, the association between economic insecurity and BMI is statistically insignificant at conventional confidence levels.

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  • Barry Watson, 2018. "Does Economic Insecurity Cause Weight Gain Among Canadian Labor Force Participants?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 64(2), pages 406-427, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:64:y:2018:i:2:p:406-427
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/roiw.12293
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