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Stress of paying bills makes women fatter, men thinner: Study

Washington, Sun, 16 Feb 2014 NI Wire

It may be bizarre but it is fact that women who have difficulty paying household bills are more likely to be obese than men in the same situation. A latest research has suggested such kind of findings.

The new study was conducted by researchers in Lafayette College's department of economics sheds new light on differences between men and women living under the strains of debt.

According to Susan Averett, economics professor at Lafayette, "It's no secret that there is a substantial correlation between household debt and health," "and research has shown that individuals with less healthy lifestyles are more likely to hold debt."

Averett and her co-author, Julie Smith, assistant professor, used data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health to test whether financial hardship affects body weight.

They divided their sample into two groups: men and women, explored two different types of financial hardship: holding credit card debt and having trouble paying bills, and three outcomes: overweight, obese and Body Mass Index (BMI).

The researchers found that individuals with less healthy lifestyles are more likely to hold debt, yet there is little evidence as to whether this is merely a correlation or if financial hardship actually causes obesity.

While their results reveal no causal relationship between credit card debt and overweight or obesity for either men or women, Averett said they did find suggestive evidence that having trouble paying bills may be a cause of obesity for women, but not men.

(With inputs from ANI)

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