Bogin,Scheffler,Hermanussen_Global effects of income and income inequality on adult height_Lupin.pdf (523.62 kB)
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Global effects of income and income inequality on adult height and sexual dimorphism in height

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journal contribution
posted on 19.05.2017, 13:57 by Barry Bogin, Christiane Scheffler, Michael Hermanussen
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Objectives: Average adult height of a population is considered a biomarker of the quality of the health environment and economic conditions. The causal relationships between height and income inequality are not well understood. We analyze data from 169 countries for national average heights of men and women and national-level economic factors to test two hypotheses: (1) income inequality has a greater association with average adult height than does absolute income; and (2) neither income nor income inequality has an effect on sexual dimorphism in height. Methods: Average height data come from the NCD-RisC health risk factor collaboration. Economic indicators are derived from the World Bank data archive and include gross domestic product (GDP), Gross National Income per capita adjusted for personal purchasing power (GNI_PPP), and income equality assessed by the Gini coefficient calculated by the Wagstaff method. Results: Hypothesis 1 is supported. Greater income equality is most predictive of average height for both sexes. GNI_PPP explains a significant, but smaller, amount of the variation. National GDP has no association with height. Hypothesis 2 is rejected. With greater average adult height there is greater sexual dimorphism. Conclusions: Findings support a growing literature on the pernicious effects of inequality on growth in height and, by extension, on health. Gradients in height reflect gradients in social disadvantage. Inequality should be considered a pollutant that disempowers people from the resources needed for their own healthy growth and development and for the health and good growth of their children.

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

American Journal of Human Biology

Volume

29

Issue

2

Citation

BOGIN, B., SCHEFFLER, C. and HERMANUSSEN, M., 2017. Global effects of income and income inequality on adult height and sexual dimorphism in height. American Journal of Human Biology, 29: e22980.

Publisher

© Wiley

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

30/01/2017

Publication date

2017

Notes

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal American Journal of Human Biology and the definitive published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.22980

ISSN

1042-0533

eISSN

1520-6300

Language

en