Cross-Country Variation in Obesity Patterns among Older Americans and Europeans
AbstractWhile 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. Our main results are as follows: 1) 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. 2) Part of the difference in obesity prevalence between the U.S. and Europe is explained by a higher fraction of food eaten away from home and notably lower time devoted to cooking in the U.S. 3) Sedentary lifestyle or a lack of vigorous and moderate physical activity may also explain a substantial share of the cross-country differences. 4) Differential SES patterns of energy intake and expenditure across countries cannot fully account for the observed cross-country variation in the SES gradient in obesity.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by McMaster University in its series Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers with number 185.
Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: May 2007
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Other versions of this item:
- Michaud Pierre-Carl & van Soest Arthur H.O. & Andreyeva Tatiana, 2007. "Cross-Country Variation in Obesity Patterns among Older Americans and Europeans," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-32, December.
- Pierre-Carl Michaud & Arthur van Soest & Tatiana Andreyeva, 2007. "Cross-Country Variation in Obesity Patterns among Older Americans and Europeans," Working Papers 495, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGE-2007-07-07 (Economics of Ageing)
- NEP-ALL-2007-07-07 (All new papers)
- NEP-EEC-2007-07-07 (European Economics)
- NEP-HEA-2007-07-07 (Health Economics)
- NEP-LTV-2007-07-07 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
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