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The Impact Of Minimum Wage Rates On Body Weight In The United States

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Executive Summary

Growing consumption of increasingly less expensive food, and especially "Fast food", has been cited as a potential cause of increasing rate of obesity in the United States over the past several decades. Because the real minimum wage in the United States has declined by as much as half over 1968-2007 and because minimum wage labor is a major contributor to the cost of food away from home the authors hypothesized that changes in the minimum wage would be associated with changes in bodyweight over this period. To examine this, they use data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from 1984-2006 to test whether variation in the real minimum wage was associated with changes in Body Mass Index (BMI).

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