ERIC Number: ED471240
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Oct
Quantitative Estimates of the Social Benefits of Learning, 2: Health (Depression and Obesity). Wider Benefits of Learning Research Report.
This report used information from two United Kingdom national cohorts to estimate the magnitude of the effects of learning on depression and obesity. Members of the two cohorts were surveyed in 1999-00, when those in the 1970 cohort were age 33 years and those in the 1958 cohort were age 42 years. Overall, education was an important risk factor for health outcomes. Some of the risk was not caused by education but related to childhood abilities, health, and family background. Taking those three factors into account, results suggested that education significantly impacted the probability of depression for women. The impact was weaker in men. The effects of learning on the probability of obesity were not strong. There was considerable evidence that the public economic costs of depression were much higher than commonly believed. The report concludes that there are substantial health returns to learning and that the sizable differences in health observed for those with different educational levels are partially due to the effects of education and not solely due to differences that precede or explain education. Moreover, these differences in health outcomes are important from a perspective of public finance as well as in terms of equity and wider social wellbeing. (Contains 32 references.) (SM)
Descriptors: Depression (Psychology), Economic Factors, Educational Attainment, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, Health Behavior, Obesity, Public Health, Sex Differences
Centre for Research on the Wider Benefits of Learning, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL, England, United Kingdom (5 British pounds). Web site: http://www.learningbenefits.net/.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department for Education and Skills, London (England).
Authoring Institution: London Univ. (England). Centre for Research on the Wider Benefits of Learning.
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom