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Waist circumference, body mass index, and employment outcomes

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  • Jonas Minet Kinge

    () (Norwegian Institute of Public Health
    University of Oslo)

Abstract

Body mass index (BMI) is an imperfect measure of body fat. Recent studies provide evidence in favor of replacing BMI with waist circumference (WC). Hence, I investigated whether or not the association between fat mass and employment status vary by anthropometric measures. I used 15 rounds of the Health Survey for England (1998–2013), which has measures of employment status in addition to measured height, weight, and WC. WC and BMI were entered as continuous variables and obesity as binary variables defined using both WC and BMI. I used multivariate models controlling for a set of covariates. The association of WC with employment was of greater magnitude than the association between BMI and employment. I reran the analysis using conventional instrumental variables methods. The IV models showed significant impacts of obesity on employment; however, they were not more pronounced when WC was used to measure obesity, compared to BMI. This means that, in the IV models, the impact of fat mass on employment did not depend on the measure of fat mass.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonas Minet Kinge, 2017. "Waist circumference, body mass index, and employment outcomes," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 18(6), pages 787-799, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:eujhec:v:18:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s10198-016-0833-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s10198-016-0833-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Waist circumference; Body mass index; Obesity; Employment status;

    JEL classification:

    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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