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The long-run effect of education on obesity in the US

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  • Kim, Young-Joo

Abstract

The proportion of obese population has been gradually increasing in the US over the past few decades. In this study I investigate how education is associated with Body Mass Index (BMI) in later stages of life. BMI, weight(kg)/height(m)2, is the principle measure used for classifying people as obese. Using sibling data and methods that take account of unobserved endowments and environment shared by siblings, I find that there is large variation in BMI between siblings and that education is negatively associated with BMI. One more year of schooling is associated with an estimated reduction of 0.15 in BMI. When considering different education levels, completing college education is associated with 0.7 reduction in BMI relative to high school graduation only. The significant effect of education on obesity that remains in the long-run has policy implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Kim, Young-Joo, 2016. "The long-run effect of education on obesity in the US," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 100-109.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:21:y:2016:i:c:p:100-109
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2015.12.003
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:socmed:v:211:y:2018:i:c:p:370-377 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Kim, Young-Joo & Daly, Vincent, 2019. "The Education Gradient in Health: The Case of Obesity in the UK and US," Economics Discussion Papers 2019-4, School of Economics, Kingston University London.
    3. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2016. "Healthy(?), wealthy, and wise: Birth order and adult health," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 27-45.
    4. Raftopoulou, Athina, 2017. "Geographic determinants of individual obesity risk in Spain: A multilevel approach," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 185-193.
    5. Dolton, Peter & Xiao, Mimi, 2017. "The intergenerational transmission of body mass index across countries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 140-152.
    6. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:33:y:2019:i:c:p:40-57 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:26:y:2017:i:c:p:70-85 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:31:y:2018:i:c:p:14-25 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:31:y:2018:i:c:p:94-114 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:29:y:2018:i:c:p:56-63 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Obesity; Body mass index; Education;

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