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11.10.2016 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 6/2017

The European Journal of Health Economics 6/2017

Waist circumference, body mass index, and employment outcomes

The European Journal of Health Economics > Ausgabe 6/2017
Jonas Minet Kinge
Wichtige Hinweise

Prior publication


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.

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