Examining the Relationships between Excess Body Weight, Health and Disability

TitleExamining the Relationships between Excess Body Weight, Health and Disability
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsWaidmann, TA, Freedman, VA, Himes, CL, Ahmad, S
Series TitleU.S. Department of Health and Human Services
InstitutionOffice of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
CityWashington, D.C.
Call Numbernewpubs20090908/weight.pdf
KeywordsHealth Conditions and Status

The recent rise in the prevalence of obesity and overweight in the overall United States population has raised many concerns about the future. In addition to concerns about the medical costs of treating obesity-related illness, an apparent correlation between obesity and disability has led to concern that the recent declines in rates of disability among the elderly may cease or reverse. In this report, we explore the relationship between excess weight and obesity in a series of cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses in an attempt to evaluate these concerns. Using data from the 1998-2004 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), we find evidence that the risks of developing difficulties with activities of daily living (ADLs) does increase with the prevalence of obesity, but the effects appear to be less dramatic than the effects on the limitations in physical functioning, which can be precursors of ADL disability. Further, we find only a weak relationship between excess weight and the onset of difficulties with instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs).

Endnote Keywords

Obesity/Weight/ADL and IADL Impairments

Endnote ID


Citation Key5715