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Cross-Country Variation in Obesity Patterns among Older Americans and Europeans

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Author Info

  • Michaud Pierre-Carl

    ()
    (RAND Corporation)

  • van Soest Arthur H.O.

    ()
    (Tilburg University)

  • Andreyeva Tatiana

    ()
    (Yale University)

Abstract

While the fraction of obese people is not as large in Europe as in the United States, obesity is becoming an important issue in Europe as well. Using comparable data from the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) and the Health and Retirement Study in the U.S. (HRS), we analyze the correlates of obesity in the population ages 50 and above, focusing on measures of energy intake and expenditure as well as socio-economic status. We find that obesity rates differ substantially on both sides of the Atlantic and across European countries, with most of the difference coming from the right tail of the weight distribution. The well-known SES gradient in the prevalence of obesity differs across countries and cannot be fully explained by the variation in food expenditure or physical activity. Obesity is associated with lack of physical activity, calorie intake, time spent on cooking, and time and money spent on eating at home and away from home, but some of these associations vary across countries. More research is needed to analyze why this is the case.

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File URL: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/fhep.2007.10.2/fhep.2007.10.2.1087/fhep.2007.10.2.1087.xml?format=INT
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Forum for Health Economics & Policy.

Volume (Year): 10 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (December)
Pages: 1-32

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:fhecpo:v:10:y:2007:i:2:n:8

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  1. John Cawley & Richard V. Burkhauser, 2006. "Beyond BMI: The Value of More Accurate Measures of Fatness and Obesity in Social Science Research," NBER Working Papers 12291, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 93-118, Summer.
  3. Sara Bleich & David Cutler & Christopher Murray & Alyce Adams, 2007. "Why Is The Developed World Obese?," NBER Working Papers 12954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Andreyeva, T. & Michaud, P.C. & Soest, A.H.O. van, 2007. "Obesity and health in Europeans age 50 and above," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-355918, Tilburg University.
  5. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2002. "The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination," Working Papers 0203, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  6. Agar Brugiavini & Tullio Jappelli & Guglielmo Weber, 2002. "The Survey on Health, Aging and Wealth," CSEF Working Papers 86, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  7. Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna, 2005. "The Obesity Epidemic in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 1814, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Chou, Shin-Yi & Grossman, Michael & Saffer, Henry, 2004. "An economic analysis of adult obesity: results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 565-587, May.
  9. Cutler, David & Shapiro, Jesse & Glaeser, Edward, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese," Scholarly Articles 2640583, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Pieroni, Luca & Salmasi, Luca, 2010. "Body weight and socio-economic determinants: quantile estimations from the British Household Panel Survey," MPRA Paper 26434, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Lechner, Michael, 2008. "Long-run Labour Market Effects of Individual Sports Activities," CEPR Discussion Papers 6886, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Pierre-Carl Michaud & Dana Goldman & Darius Lakdawalla & Yuhui Zheng & Adam Gailey, 2009. "Understanding the Economic Consequences of Shifting Trends in Population Health," NBER Working Papers 15231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Cavaco, Sandra & Eriksson, Tor & Skalli, Ali, 2011. "Life Cycle Development of Obesity and Its Determinants," Working Papers 11-7, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  5. Joan Costa-Font & Daniele Fabbri & Joan Gil, 2008. "Decomposing Body Mass Index Gaps Between Mediterranean Countries: A Counterfactual Quantile Regression Analysis," Working Papers 2008-11, FEDEA.
  6. Shinsuke Ikeda & Kang Myong-Il & Fumio Ohtake, 2009. "Fat Debtors: Time Discounting, Its Anomalies, and Body Mass Index," ISER Discussion Paper 0732, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  7. Gwozdz, Wencke & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Reisch, Lucia A. & Ahrens, Wolfgang & De Henauw, Stefaan & Eiben, Gabriele & Fernández-Alvira, Juan M. & Hadjigeorgiou, Charalampos & Kovács, Eva & Lauria, Fab, 2013. "Maternal Employment and Childhood Obesity: A European Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 7371, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Anna Sanz de Galdeano, 2007. "An Economic Analysis of Obesity in Europe: Health, Medical Care and Absenteeism Costs," Working Papers 2007-38, FEDEA.
  9. Ikeda, Shinsuke & Kang, Myong-Il & Ohtake, Fumio, 2010. "Hyperbolic discounting, the sign effect, and the body mass index," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 268-284, March.
  10. Pieroni, L. & Salmasi, L., 2014. "Fast-food consumption and body weight. Evidence from the UK," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 94-105.
  11. Xiaoyan Li & Nicole Maestas, 2008. "Does the Rise in the Full Retirement Age Encourage Disability Benefits Applications? Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," Working Papers wp198, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.

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