Search Results

Author: Darlin, Damon
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Darlin, Damon
Extra Weight, Higher Costs
New York Times, December 2, 2006.
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: New York Times
Keyword(s): Body Mass Index (BMI); Health/Health Status/SF-12 Scale; Obesity; Wealth

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

As you snatch a couple more Christmas cookies or down another eggnog, you might be thinking about what those extra calories will do to your health.

"Being overweight can be dangerous to your wealth," said Jay L. Zagorsky, an economist at Ohio State University who has looked at the relationship between various economic and sociological factors and a measure of obesity called the body mass index.

Doctors use the index to determine whether a person is merely overweight or dangerously obese. You divide your weight in pounds by the square of your height in inches, which is then multiplied by 703, to adjust the English-system measurements to the metric system. (You could use kilograms and centimeters, but that would be too easy.) Or use a Web calculator like the one at or

Anything under 25 is considered a normal reading of the index. From 25 to 30 is overweight, and above 30 is obese. People who rate above 40 are considered morbidly obese, meaning they are facing serious and sustained health problems.

The index has been criticized for its inability to distinguish between a well-muscled person and a fat one. Nevertheless, it is by this measure that academics estimate that 97 million Americans, about a third of the population, are considered obese. Almost 10 million Americans could be considered morbidly obese.

Bibliography Citation
Darlin, Damon. "Extra Weight, Higher Costs." New York Times, December 2, 2006.