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To examine changes in minimum wage associated with changes in women’s weight status.
Longitudinal study of legislated minimum wage levels (per month, purchasing power parity-adjusted, 2011 constant US dollar values) linked to anthropometric and sociodemographic data from multiple Demographic and Health Surveys (2000–2014). Separate multilevel models estimated associations of a $10 increase in monthly minimum wage with the rate of change in underweight and obesity, conditioning on individual and country confounders. Post-estimation analysis computed predicted mean probabilities of being underweight or obese associated with higher levels of minimum wage at study start and end.
Twenty-four low-income countries.
Adult non-pregnant women (n 150 796).
Higher minimum wages were associated (OR; 95 % CI) with reduced underweight in women (0·986; 0·977, 0·995); a decrease that accelerated over time (P-interaction=0·025). Increasing minimum wage was associated with higher obesity (1·019; 1·008, 1·030), but did not alter the rate of increase in obesity prevalence (P-interaction=0·8). A $10 rise in monthly minimum wage was associated (prevalence difference; 95 % CI) with an average decrease of about 0·14 percentage points (−0·14; −0·23, −0·05) for underweight and an increase of about 0·1 percentage points (0·12; 0·04, 0·20) for obesity.
The present longitudinal multi-country study showed that a $10 rise in monthly minimum wage significantly accelerated the decline in women’s underweight prevalence, but had no association with the pace of growth in obesity prevalence. Thus, modest rises in minimum wage may be beneficial for addressing the protracted underweight problem in poor countries, especially South Asia and parts of Africa.
Making Equal Rights Real brings together leaders from around the world who have been working effectively to increase equal economic and social rights, ranging from rights in the workplace to property ownership and education. The contributors tell the detailed stories of effective approaches to implementing equal rights for racial and ethnic minorities in North America, women in Africa, children in the Middle East and sexual minorities in Asia. They also describe approaches taken around the world to increase equal rights for people living in poverty, for those living with disabilities and for all people seeking the information they need to hold their government accountable for implementing everyone's rights. The book addresses what can be done by policymakers, civil society, non-governmental organizations, lawyers seeking to implement equal rights legislation and advocates working in the community, as well as those developing constitutions and negotiating international agreements.