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Over-Nutrition and Changing Health Status in High Income Countries

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  • Huffman, Wallace
  • Huffman, Sonya K.
  • Rickertsen, Kyrre
  • Tegene, Abebayehu

Abstract

Malnutrition and food deprivation, which are concentrated in poor countries, have been a long-term concern of economists, but as per capita income in developed countries has grown in the 20th century, a new problem of over-nutrition leading to obesity has occurred. This paper develops models of calorie demand and health supply, as reflected in aggregate mortality statistics, and tests them against data for high income countries. The models are fitted to newly developed international aggregate data for 18 high income countries over 1971-2001. Some findings are that a higher price of food, of other purchased consumer goods and of wages reduces the macro demand for calories and supply of mortality associated with obesity, but other forms of mortality are unaffected by these prices. In the aggregate, caloric intake is a normal good, contributing to energy imbalance. However, higher incomes do reduce macro level mortality risk. Higher labor force participation rates, associated with working women, increase the macro demand for calories and the supply of obesity-related mortality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 12604.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2006
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Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12604

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Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
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Fax: +1 515.294.0221
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Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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Keywords: mortality; food prices; health; obesity; calories; over-nutrition; developed countries;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Maria L. Loureiro & Rodolfo M. Nayga, 2005. "International Dimensions of Obesity and Overweight Related Problems: An Economics Perspective," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1147-1153.
  3. Alain Carpentier & Hervé Guyomard, 2001. "Unconditional Elasticities in Two-Stage Demand Systems: An Approximate Solution," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(1), pages 222-229.
  4. Grossman, Michael, 2000. "The human capital model," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 347-408 Elsevier.
  5. Brian W. Gould, 2003. "An Empirical Assessment of Endogeneity Issues in Demand Analysis for Differentiated Products," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(3), pages 605-617.
  6. Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-71, November.
  7. 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.
  8. Shapiro, Jesse & Glaeser, Edward & Cutler, David, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese," Scholarly Articles 2640583, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Fred Kuchler & Abebayehu Tegene & J. Michael Harris, 2005. "Taxing Snack Foods: Manipulating Diet Quality or Financing Information Programs?," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 27(1), pages 4-20.
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Cited by:
  1. John C. Beghin & Helen H. Jensen, 2008. "Farm Policies and Added Sugars in US Diets," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 08-wp462, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  2. Huffman, Wallace, 2008. "Rising Food and Energy Prices: Projections for Labor Markets 2008-18 and Beyond," Staff General Research Papers 13000, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Staudigel, Matthias, 2012. "On The Application Of Household Production Theory To Health And Nutrition," 52nd Annual Conference, Stuttgart, Germany, September 26-28, 2012 137389, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
  4. Staudigel, Matthias, 2011. "How (much) do food prices contribute to obesity in Russia?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 133-147, March.

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