Minimum wage and overweight and obesity in adult women: a multi-level analysis of low and middle-income countries

Annalijn Conklin, Ninez Ponce, John Frank, Arijit Nandi, Jody Heymann

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Abstract / Description of output

Objectives: To describe the relationship between minimum wage and overweight and obesity across countries at different levels of development. Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of 27 countries with data on the legislated minimum wage level linked to socio-demographic and anthropometry data of non-pregnant 190,892 adult women (24-49 y) from the Demographic and Health Survey. We used multilevel logistic regression models to condition on country- and individual-level potential confounders, and post-estimation of average marginal effects to calculate the adjusted prevalence difference. Results: We found the association between minimum wage and overweight/obesity was independent of individual-level SES and confounders, and showed a reversed pattern by country development stage. The adjusted overweight/obesity prevalence difference in low-income countries was an average increase of about 0.1 percentage points (PD 0.075 [0.065, 0.084]), and an average decrease of 0.01 percentage points in middle-income countries (PD -0.014 [-0.019, -0.009]). The adjusted obesity prevalence difference in low-income countries was an average increase of 0.03 percentage points (PD 0.032 [0.021, 0.042]) and an average decrease of 0.03 percentage points in middle-income countries (PD -0.032 [-0.036, -0.027]). Conclusion: This is among the first studies to examine the potential impact of improved wages on an important precursor of non-communicable diseases globally. Among countries with a modest level of economic development, higher minimum wage was associated with lower levels of obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0150736
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2016

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