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Open AccessArticle

Decomposition of Gender Differences in Body Mass Index in Saudi Arabia using Unconditional Quantile Regression: Analysis of National-Level Survey Data

1
Department of Health Services and Hospital Administration, Faculty of Economics and Administration, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 80200, Saudi Arabia
2
Centre for Health economics, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK
3
Economics Department, Chancellor College, University of Malawi, Zomba, P.O Box 280, Malawi
4
Department of Social and Health Sciences, Millennium University, Blantyre P.O Box 2797, Malawi
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2330; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072330
Received: 9 February 2020 / Revised: 25 March 2020 / Accepted: 26 March 2020 / Published: 30 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bridging the Gender Disparity Gap in Healthcare)
Understanding gender differences in body mass index (BMI) between males and females has been much debated and received considerable attention. This study aims to decompose gender differentials in the BMI of people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The study decomposed the BMI gender gap into its associated factors across the entire BMI distribution by using counterfactual regression methods. The main method of analysis was newly developed unconditional quantile regression-based decomposition, which applied Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition using data from the Saudi Health Interview Survey. Gender differentials were found in the BMI, with females showing a higher BMI than males. The aggregate decomposition showed that both the covariate effect and the structural effect were significant at the 25th and 50th quantiles. Detailed decomposition indicated that income level and employment status as well as soda consumption and the consumption of red meat were significantly correlated in explaining gender differentials in BMI across various quantiles, but the magnitude varied by quantile. Our study suggests the government should consider introducing programs that specifically target women to help them reduce BMI. These programs could include organizing sporting events at the workplace and at the national level. Furthermore, the effect of soda consumption could be reduced by levying a tax on beverages, which might reduce the demand for soda due to the increased price. View Full-Text
Keywords: body mass index; gender; differentials; Saudi Arabia; decomposition body mass index; gender; differentials; Saudi Arabia; decomposition
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MDPI and ACS Style

Al-Hanawi, M.K.; Chirwa, G.C.; Kamninga, T.M. Decomposition of Gender Differences in Body Mass Index in Saudi Arabia using Unconditional Quantile Regression: Analysis of National-Level Survey Data. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 2330. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072330

AMA Style

Al-Hanawi MK, Chirwa GC, Kamninga TM. Decomposition of Gender Differences in Body Mass Index in Saudi Arabia using Unconditional Quantile Regression: Analysis of National-Level Survey Data. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(7):2330. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072330

Chicago/Turabian Style

Al-Hanawi, Mohammed Khaled; Chirwa, Gowokani Chijere; Kamninga, Tony Mwenda. 2020. "Decomposition of Gender Differences in Body Mass Index in Saudi Arabia using Unconditional Quantile Regression: Analysis of National-Level Survey Data" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 7: 2330. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072330

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