The Effect of Obesity on Disability Risk, Recurrence and Recovery, among Working Age Adults Living in the United States

Heide Jackson, University of Wisconsin-Madison

In the United States, the rising prevalence of disability among young and middle age adults is attributable, at least in part, to a rising prevalence of obesity (Finkelstein et al., 2009; Barkin et al., 2010). Obesity dramatically reduces population labor force productivity and lowers overall health. This study estimates a multi-state hazard model to assess the relationship between obesity and disability, onset, recovery, and recurrence using data made available from the Natonal Longitudinal Study of Youth 1979 (NLSY 1979) and the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Preliminary findings suggest that obesity not only increases the likelihood that an individual will become disabled but also reduces the likelihood that an individual will recover from a disabling condition.

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Presented in Poster Session 8: Adult Health and Mortality