Obesity, Self-Esteem and Wages

Obesity is associated with serious health problems, and it can generate adverse economic outcomes.The authors of this study analyzed a nationally-representative sample of young American adults to investigate the interplay between obesity, wages and self-esteem.

Wages can be impacted directly by obesity, and they can be influenced by obesity indirectly through the channel of obesity to self-esteem to wages. The authors find that female wages are directly influenced by body weight, and self-esteem has an impact on wages in case of Whites. Being overweight or obese has a negative impact on the self-esteem of females and of Black males. The results suggest that obesity has the most significant impact on White women’s wages.