The relationship between obesity, lifestyles, household income and employment status
Mavromaras, K. and Goode, A. (HERU) and Zangelidis, A. (University of Aberdeen Business School)
This research investigated the relationship between obesity and lifestyles in the light of different levels of household income and/or employment status. The distinction between employed and not employed was used in order to represent the constraint of time (the not employed have more at their disposal). Household income was used to represent the conventional money budget constraint. Lifestyles were represented by healthy eating and physical exercise. The research first examined the empirical relationship between obesity (represented by BMI) and lifestyles (healthy eating and exercise) to define its causal nature using the method of instrumental variables. Then the research applied quantile regression in order to examine how this relationship may vary across the BMI conditional distribution. The project used health and lifestyle data sets from Scotland and UK. The results of this project indicated that obese employed people are more likely to adopt healthier diets as a response and that obese non-employed people are more likely to increase physical activity.