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Can Obesity Cause Depression? Using Pseudo Panel Analysis

Hyungserk Ha, Chirok Han and Beomsoo Kim ()
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Hyungserk Ha: Youth Independence & Competencies Research Office, National Youth Policy Institute, Sejong, Republic of Korea
Beomsoo Kim: Department of Economics, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

No 1701, Discussion Paper Series from Institute of Economic Research, Korea University

Abstract: The U.S. ranks ninth in obesity in the world (Forbes, 2007), and approximately 7% of the U.S. adults experience major depressive disorder. Social isolation from the stigma attached to obesity might trigger depression. This paper examines this impact of obesity on depression. To overcome the endogeneity problem we construct pseudo panel data using Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System for the 1997-2008 periods. The results are robust and found that BMI has a positive effect on depression days and fraction of depressed. We attempt to overcome endogeneity problem by using pseudo panel approach and find that an increase in the BMI would increase depression days (or being depressed) statistically significantly and big in magnitude.

Keywords: Obesity; Depression (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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