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Differences in body mass indices for males imprisoned in the 19th century American South

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  • Scott Carson

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Abstract

A limited but increasing amount of research is being done on historical body mass index values. This paper uses 19th century Tennessee State Penitentiary records to demonstrate that Southern BMI values were in the normal range. There is little evidence of a Southern mulatto BMI advantage. Farmer BMIs were consistently heavier than non-farmers. Southern black BMIs remained constant throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries; however, white BMIs declined during the early 20th century. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Scott Carson, 2013. "Differences in body mass indices for males imprisoned in the 19th century American South," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 1-16, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbioec:v:15:y:2013:i:1:p:1-16
    DOI: 10.1007/s10818-011-9126-9
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10818-011-9126-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 93-118, Summer.
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    5. Bodenhorn, Howard, 1999. "A Troublesome Caste: Height and Nutrition of Antebellum Virginia's Rural Free Blacks," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(04), pages 972-996, December.
    6. Angus Deaton, 2008. "Height, Health, and Inequality: The Distribution of Adult Heights in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 468-474, May.
    7. Sunder, Marco, 2004. "The height of Tennessee convicts: another piece of the "antebellum puzzle"," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 75-86, March.
    8. Steckel, Richard H., 1979. "Slave height profiles from coastwise manifests," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 363-380, October.
    9. Costa Dora L., 1993. "Height, Weight, Wartime Stress, and Older Age Mortality: Evidence from the Union Army Records," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 424-449, October.
    10. Haines, Michael R. & Craig, Lee A. & Weiss, Thomas, 2003. "The Short and the Dead: Nutrition, Mortality, and the in the United States," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(02), pages 382-413, June.
    11. repec:pri:rpdevs:case_paxson_height_health_and_cognitive_function is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Stature and the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1903-1940, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ramon Ramon-Muñoz & Josep-Maria Ramon-Muñoz, 2015. "Height and Industrialisation in a City in Catalonia during the Nineteenth Century," UB Economics Working Papers 2015/334, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    19th century Southern health; BMI; Malnourishment; Obesity; I12; I31; J19; J70; N31;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J19 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Other
    • J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General
    • N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

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