Empirical Economic Bulletin, An Undergraduate Journal


This paper investigates the socioeconomic determinants of obesity (as measured by BMI) in the United States. Logistic regression is employed on cross-sectional data from the 2011-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The results show that, in general, holding other factors constant, individuals with a college diploma are less likely to be obese than those with a lesser education (except in extreme cases), married individuals are more likely to be obese than those that are not married, and females are more likely to be obese than males. Additionally, compared to white persons, Black and Hispanic persons have a greater probability of being obese, while Asians have a significantly lower probability of being obese. These findings are supported by the broader literature, in which different empirical techniques are often utilized.