The Impact of Minimum Wage Rates on Body Weight in the United States

Edited by David O. Meltzer and Zhuo Chen

in Economic Aspects of Obesity

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780226310091
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226310107 | DOI:
The Impact of Minimum Wage Rates on Body Weight in the United States

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This chapter discusses the association of minimum wages and body weight in the United States and the effect of this on income. Because minimum wage labor makes up about one third of the cost of fast-food, and because the real minimum wage has varied nationally and across states over time due to inflation and changes in state and federal minimum wage laws that would not seem to have any independent reasons to affect obesity, variation in real minimum wages may provide a powerful mechanism to provide a test for the hypothesis that fast-food consumption may play a role in increasing obesity in the United States. The relationship of obesity to minimum wage changes supports the argument that the association of increased consumption of food away from home and obesity may reflect a causal relationship.

Keywords: minimum wages; body weight; obesity; United States; food consumption

Chapter.  7252 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economics

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