What Causes Obesity? And Why Has it Grown So Much? An Alternative View
AbstractThe purpose of this paper is to explain the main social and economic facts concerning obesity in a way that substantially improves upon existing economic theory. In contrast to existing theory, a number of recent health science writers have explained persuasively that weight gain or loss is not strictly determined by net calorie consumption. These writers have explained that what food people eat and the effect these foods have on hormones such as insulin and hormonal balance are the crucial factors. To understand the rising prevalence of obesity, it is necessary to take into account the growing infrastructure of obesity. This infrastructure includes food processing firms, notably their behavior relating to the qualities of processed food, their marketing of "junk food" and fast food, and their food cost reducing technological changes. Another factor in rising obesity levels are the human capital resources of people, most notably their social capital, personal capital, and health capital. There is evidence that people who are poor in these intangible capacities are the ones with the highest rates of obesity. The essence of the theory is that obesity is the expected result when vulnerable people with low intangible capital resources encounter the many influences of the infrastructure of obesity. These people have gotten stuck in dysfunctional eating and exercise patterns which societal influences have unfortunately encouraged.
Download InfoTo our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group in its series Papers on Economics and Evolution with number 2010-12.
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2010-09-25 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2010-09-25 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2010-09-25 (Health Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- David Cutler & Edward Glaeser & Jesse Shapiro, 2003.
"Why Have Americans Become More Obese?,"
NBER Working Papers
9446, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1994, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Janet Currie & Stefano DellaVigna & Enrico Moretti & Vikram Pathania, 2009.
"The Effect of Fast Food Restaurants on Obesity and Weight Gain,"
NBER Working Papers
14721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Janet Currie & Stefano DellaVigna & Enrico Moretti & Vikram Pathania, 2010. "The Effect of Fast Food Restaurants on Obesity and Weight Gain," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 32-63, August.
- Robert Goldfarb & Thomas C. Leonard & Steven Suranovic, 2006.
"Modeling Alternative Motives for Dieting,"
Eastern Economic Journal,
Eastern Economic Association, vol. 32(1), pages 115-131, Winter.
- Shin-Yi Chou & Inas Rashad & Michael Grossman, 2005.
"Fast-Food Restaurant Advertising on Television and Its Influence on Childhood Obesity,"
NBER Working Papers
11879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Shin-Yi Chou & Inas Rashad & Michael Grossman, 2008. "Fast-Food Restaurant Advertising on Television and Its Influence on Childhood Obesity," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(4), pages 599-618, November.
- Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2002.
"The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination,"
0203, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
- Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2002. "The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination," NBER Working Papers 8946, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- 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.
- Shin-Yi Chou & Michael Grossman & Henry Saffer, 2002. "An Economic Analysis of Adult Obesity: Results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," NBER Working Papers 9247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Karin Serfling).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.