High school education and obesity : is a GED equal to a high school degree?
Sha, Lynn Lei.
Thesis (M.P.P.)--Georgetown University, 2009.; Includes bibliographical references. Past research has shown that growing rates of obesity may be caused by a wide set of societal factors, ranging from educational attainment to the level of urban sprawl. This paper explores the effect of different levels and types of high school education on adult obesity, as measured through an individual's Body Mass Index (BMI). Its objective is to determine whether high school education levels could serve as a meaningful predictor of adult obesity.; Using data from the 2005 cohort of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), BMI is regressed on an individual male household head's high school education type and level. Specifically, these categories include: completing high school, passing the General Educational Development (GED) test, or dropping out of high school.; Results demonstrate a complex relationship between education and obesity, particularly among different racial and ethnic groups. Individuals with higher levels of education do appear to experience lower rates of obesity. However, those who obtained a high school degree or GED appear to have a significantly higher chance of becoming overweight compared to those who did not finish high school. This effect is particularly strong for African-Americans.
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