Are older Americans becoming more or less disabled? Unhealthy body weight has increased dramatically, but other data show that disability rates have declined. We use data from the Health and Retirement Study to estimate the association between obesity and disability, and we combine these data with trend estimates of obesity rates from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey. If current trends in obesity continue, disability rates will increase by 1 percent per year more in the 50-69 age group than if there were no further weight gain.
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