Does education reduce the probability of being overweight?

Webbink, Dinand, Martin, Nicholas G. and Visscher, Peter M. (2010) Does education reduce the probability of being overweight?. Journal of Health Economics, 29 1: 29-38. doi:10.1016/j.jhealeco.2009.11.013

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Author Webbink, Dinand
Martin, Nicholas G.
Visscher, Peter M.
Title Does education reduce the probability of being overweight?
Journal name Journal of Health Economics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0167-6296
Publication date 2010-01-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2009.11.013
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 29
Issue 1
Start page 29
End page 38
Total pages 10
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier North-Holland
Language eng
Abstract The prevalence of overweight and obesity is growing rapidly in many countries. Education policies might be important for reducing this increase. This paper analyses the causal effect of education on the probability of being overweight by using longitudinal data of Australian identical twins. The data include self-reported and clinical measures of body size. Our cross-sectional estimates confirm the well-known negative association between education and the probability of being overweight. For men we find that education also reduces the probability of being overweight within pairs of identical twins. The estimated effect of education on overweight status increases with age. Remarkably, for women we find no negative effect of education on body size when fixed family effects are taken into account. Identical twin sisters who differ in educational attainment do not systematically differ in body size. Peer effects within pairs of identical twin sisters might play a role. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Formatted abstract
The prevalence of overweight and obesity is growing rapidly in many countries. Education policies might be important for reducing this increase. This paper analyses the causal effect of education on the probability of being overweight by using longitudinal data of Australian identical twins. The data include self-reported and clinical measures of body size. Our cross-sectional estimates confirm the well-known negative association between education and the probability of being overweight. For men we find that education also reduces the probability of being overweight within pairs of identical twins. The estimated effect of education on overweight status increases with age. Remarkably, for women we find no negative effect of education on body size when fixed family effects are taken into account. Identical twin sisters who differ in educational attainment do not systematically differ in body size. Peer effects within pairs of identical twin sisters might play a role.
Keyword Body size
Education
Overweight
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 26 November 2009.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
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Created: Wed, 30 Mar 2011, 22:47:53 EST by Debbie Banks on behalf of School of Medicine