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Key Findings Details

The Ability of Various Measures of Fatness to Predict Application for Disability Insurance
Richard V. Burkhauser, John H. Cawley and Maximilian D. Schmeiser
WP 2008-185

  • The measure of fatness that best predicts application for DI varies by race and gender.
  • For white men, BMI consistently predicts future application for DI.  For white women, almost all measures are consistently predictive.  For black men, none predict application.  For black women, waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio are the only significant predictors of DI application.
  • This variation across race and gender suggests that the inclusion of alternative measures of fatness in social science datasets should be considered.