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Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Economic Perspectives
Obesity, disability, and the labor force
Kristin F. Butcher
Kyung-Hong Park

Men of prime working age have increased their non-employment rates over the past 30 years, and disability rates have also increased. Many have noted that this increase has happened against a backdrop of generally improving health in the U.S. population. However, obesity has increased substantially over this period. The authors find that changes in the characteristics of male workers—including age, race, ethnicity, and obesity levels—can explain a large portion (around 40 percent) of the increase in non-employment.

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Kristin F. Butcher & Kyung-Hong Park, "Obesity, disability, and the labor force" , Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Economic Perspectives, issue Q I, pages 2-16, 2008.
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Keywords: Obesity ; Unemployment
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