Increase in obesity linked to wealth reduction

I found an interesting, but a bit old research news (Economics and Human Biology, July 2005) - overweight Americans who lose a lot of weight also tend to build more wealth as they drop the pounds. The study used data involving about 7,300 people who participated in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth.
The results showed that a 1 unit increase in a young person's body mass index score (BMI) was associated with a $1,300 or 8% reduction in wealth. But the changes varied dramatically by ethnicity and gender. For example, white women who dropped their BMI score by 10 points saw a wealth increase of $11,880. White men saw an increase of $12,720 for a similar drop, while black women increased wealth by $4,480.
The data in this study can't tell us whether a person's wealth affects obesity, or whether obesity affects wealth. However, researchers thought it is more likely that weight influences wealth. One possible explanation, which I believe is true, would be that overweight and obese people (particularly white women) are discriminated against in the workforce, and don't earn as much money as normal weight people.

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