Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Impact of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the body mass index of students in Japan

Yamamura, Eiji (2013): Impact of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the body mass index of students in Japan.

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Abstract

Based on prefecture-level panel data from Japan for 2010 and 2012, this paper investigates how the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident influenced the body mass index (BMI) of students aged between 5 and 17 years old. A differences-in-differences approach was used to show that (1) students’ BMIs reduced across Japan from 2010 to 2012 and (2) compared with other prefectures there was an increase in the BMIs of primary school students aged 5–11 years old in Fukushima as a result of the Fukushima accident. These findings suggest that restrictions placed on outdoor exercise as a result of the nuclear accident in Fukushima prevented primary school children from burning calories consumed; in other areas a reduction in the use of air-conditioning increased the burning of calories.

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