Education and Body Mass Index: Evidence from ECHP
We study the association between education and body mass index across ten European countries (Denmark, Belgium, Greece, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Austria, Portugal, Finland and Sweden) using the European Community Household Panel. OLS and Probit estimation suggest that on average education is associated with lower BMI and a lower probability of being obese. For women, the difference of BMI between the lowest education group and the highest one ranges between -7.15% (Austria) and -2.43% (Finland). The reduction in the probability of being obese ranges between -7.18% (Spain) and -3% (Italy). For men, the reduction of BMI ranges between -4.29%(Denmark) and zero (Greece). The reduction in the probability of being obese ranges between -7.84% (Austria) and zero (Greece). Quantile regression suggests that the effect of education is larger at the upper quantiles than at the lower ones. Higher education also reduces the dispersion of the BMI distribution.
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