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Differences in the U.S. trends in the prevalence of obesity based on body mass index and skin fold thickness

Author: Richard V Burkhauser; John H Cawley, Jr.; Maximilian D Schmeiser; National Bureau of Economic Research.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, ©2009.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 15005.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
There are several ways to measure fatness and obesity, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. The primary measure for tracking the prevalence of obesity has historically been body mass index (BMI). This paper compares long-run trends in the prevalence of obesity when obesity is defined using skinfold thickness instead of body mass index (BMI), using data from the full series of U.S. National Health Examination  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Statistics
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Richard V Burkhauser; John H Cawley, Jr.; Maximilian D Schmeiser; National Bureau of Economic Research.
OCLC Number: 369158287
Notes: "May 2009."
Description: 1 online resource (28 pages) : illustrations, digital.
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 15005.
Responsibility: Richard V. Burkhauser, John Cawley, Maximilian D. Schmeiser.

Abstract:

There are several ways to measure fatness and obesity, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. The primary measure for tracking the prevalence of obesity has historically been body mass index (BMI). This paper compares long-run trends in the prevalence of obesity when obesity is defined using skinfold thickness instead of body mass index (BMI), using data from the full series of U.S. National Health Examination Surveys. The results indicate that when one uses skinfold thicknesses rather than BMI to define obesity, the rise in the prevalence of obesity is detectable ten to twenty years earlier. This underscores the importance of examining multiple measures of fatness when monitoring or otherwise studying obesity.

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