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date: 18 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the publicly available data from the United States on obesity. Data sources with information on weight and height (both measured and self-reported) are emphasized, in addition to some information on caloric intake and physical activity, which are core lifestyle determinants of body weight. The chapter also addresses cross-sectional and longitudinal data sources that are useful for research on obesity in adults, adolescents, children, and infants. Changes in body mass index over time are particularly significant, and so longitudinal data sources provide an opportunity to track the same individuals over time in looking at school policies, long-term effects of birth weight, and labor-market outcomes. Social science research related to obesity is still a relatively new phenomenon, and the rich data sets mentioned may enable better understanding of the trends and long-term relationships surrounding cognitive and labor-market outcomes.

Keywords: obesity, social science, publicly available data, United States, body weight, height, caloric intake, physical activity, labor market

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