The problem of obesity is alarming public health authorities around the world. Therefore, it is important to study its determinants. In this paper we explore the empirical relationship between household income and body mass index (BMI) in nine European Union countries. Our findings suggest that the association is negative for women, but we find no statistically significant relationship for men. However, we show that the different relationship for men and women appears to be driven by the negative relationship for women between BMI and individual income from work. We tentatively conclude that the negative relationship between household income and BMI for women may simply be capturing the wage penalty that obese women suffer in the labor market.
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