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Demographic, Residential, and Socioeconomic Effects on the Distribution of 19th Century White Body Mass Index Values

  • Scott A. Carson
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    Little research exists on the body mass index values of 19th century Americans of European descent. Using a new BMI data set and robust statistics, between 1860 and 1880, BMIs decreased across the distribution; however, after 1880, BMIs in the highest quantiles increased, while those in lower BMI quantiles continued to decrease. Late 19th and early 20th century white BMIs increased at older ages in higher quantiles and decreased in lower quantiles, indicating significant net biological disparity by age. During industrialization, white BMIs were lower in Kentucky, Missouri, and urban Philadelphia.

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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2011/wp-cesifo-2011-03/cesifo1_wp3383.pdf
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    Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3383.

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    Date of creation: 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3383
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    1. Dora L. Costa, 2002. "The Measure of Man and Older Age Mortality: Evidence from the Gould Sample," NBER Working Papers 8843, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Komlos, John & Coclanis, Peter, 1997. "On the Puzzling Cycle in the Biological Standard of Living: The Case of Antebellum Georgia," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 433-459, October.
    3. Robert W. Fogel, 1994. "Economic Growth, Population Theory, and Physiology: The Bearing of Long-Term Processes on the Making of Economic Policy," NBER Working Papers 4638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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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