Obesity, Disability and the Movement onto the DI and SSI Rolls

Published: 2004
Project ID: UM04-08


In the U.S. during the 1980s and 1990s, the number of adults receiving income from Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) rose by 60 percent and the percentage of adults who were clinically obese doubled. This project will test whether these trends are related. Specifically, we will test whether obesity causes disability and movement onto the disability rolls. We will estimate several models, including fixed effects and instrumental variables models, using the PSID. Our findings will allow SSA to better anticipate the consequences of changes in the prevalence of obesity for future DI and SSI rolls.