The association of obesity with the likelihood of arrest for young adults
This paper examines whether obesity is associated with the likelihood of arrest. We hypothesize that obese individuals are less likely to commit crime and be arrested because their body weights may prevent them from successfully engaging in certain criminal activities, particularly those that are physically intensive. To test this hypothesis, we use the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 and panel data techniques and find that obesity is negatively related to arrest. In one specification, for example, we found that the odds of an obese man being arrested are 64% of those of a healthy weight man. The social costs of obesity may be overstated if obesity reduces the likelihood of arrest because the obese are less criminally active.
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