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Why Rich Women Don't Get Fat

April 18, 2014 1 min read

Worldwide, women are about 1.4 times as likely to be obese as men. But in high-income countries, the obesity gap dis­appears. This difference persisted in the U.S. until relatively recently. In 2000, 33.4% of American women and 27.5% of American men were obese. Over the following decade, the men gradually caught up to the women, and by 2010, obesity was equally prevalent in both genders. Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 10.54.12 AM But the correlation between income and obesity is not uniform between the genders. Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 10.54.46 AM Suspecting that men and women pay different prices for being obese, a group of researchers at George Washington University recently attempted to quantify the economic impact by gender. They found that obesity costs women nearly twice as much as it does men, and that the vast majority of this difference can be traced to the hit obese women take to their wages. Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 10.55.53 AM         SOURCES: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/04/why-rich-women-dont-get-fat/358643/ 1. World Health Organization. 2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (data are for adults ages 20 and older). 3. CDC. 4. Roehling et al., “Weight Discrimination and the Glass Ceiling Effect Among Top US CEOs” (Equal Opportunities International, 2009). 5. Dor et al., “A Heavy Burden: The Individual Costs of Being Overweight and Obese in the United States” (George Washington University, Sept. 2010; funded by Allergan, then the manufacturer of the Lap-Band). 6. Gortmaker et al., “Social and Economic Consequences of Overweight in Adolescence and Young Adulthood” (New England Journal of Medicine, Sept. 1993); Crosnoe, “Gender, Obesity, and Education” (Sociology of Education, July 2007); Muennig et al., “Gender and the Burden of Disease Attributable to Obesity” (American Journal of Public Health, Sept. 2006).  

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