Megan McArdle’s interview with Paul Campos and related posts have gotten others talking about obesity. There are some common not-too-flattering stereotypes about the demographics of fat people, and I decided to look up which were most important. The GSS has a variable, INTRWGHT, which is the subjective weight of the respondent as judged by the interviewer. It goes from below average, to average, to somewhat above to considerably above average. Admittedly very subjective. And I’m not even going to give you the full tables like before, as most are too wide to fit and I don’t feel like breaking them up. You’re just getting big-picture stats. I didn’t want weight differences in race and year of interview confounding things, so its all white people from 2008.
WORDSUM (how many vocab words they got right, basically an IQ test):

Eta* = .10 Gamma = -.03 Chisq(P) = 31.94 (p= 0.37)
R = -.02 Tau-b = -.02 Chisq(LR) = 32.83 (p= 0.33)
Somers’ d* = -.02 Tau-c = -.02 df = 30

EDUC (highest year of school completed):

Eta* = .15 Gamma = -.14 Chisq(P) = 92.40 (p= 0.00)
R = -.10 Tau-b = -.09 Chisq(LR) = 83.62 (p= 0.01)
Somers’ d* = -.07 Tau-c = -.08 df = 57

PASEI (father’s socioeconomic index):

Eta* = .38 Gamma = -.14 Chisq(P) = 623.36 (p= 0.40)
R = -.11 Tau-b = -.09 Chisq(LR) = 546.54 (p= 0.98)
Somers’ d* = -.06 Tau-c = -.08 df = 615

RINCOME  (respondent’s income):

Eta* = .12 Gamma = .07 Chisq(P) = 60.21 (p= 0.01)
R = .04 Tau-b = .04 Chisq(LR) = 58.51 (p= 0.01)
Somers’ d* = .03 Tau-c = .03 df = 36

Father’s status seems to be the most negatively correlated, followed by education and then vocab score. Income is actually positively associated with perceived fattitude, as I assumed had been the case throughout most of human history but not in the present day. I still don’t actually know much about statistics, so those who see anything else relevant should feel free to chime in. I didn’t examine region, since it doesn’t have a monotonic scale, but Razib has some scatterplots and a table here.

Summary Statistics for RACE = 1(WHITE)
Eta* = .10 Gamma = -.03 Chisq(P) = 31.94 (p= 0.37)
R = -.02 Tau-b = -.02 Chisq(LR) = 32.83 (p= 0.33)
Somers’ d* = -.02 Tau-c = -.02 df = 30
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