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Is the Obesity Epidemic a Public Health Problem? A Review of Zoltan J. Acs and Alan Lyles's Obesity, Business and Public Policy

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  • Tomas J. Philipson
  • Richard A. Posner

Abstract

We review the recent but growing economic literature on the worldwide growth of obesity, relating the review to a recent anthology of articles— Obesity, Business and Public Policy . We discuss the competing explanations for the growth of obesity as well as the role of governments in attempting to limit it.

Suggested Citation

  • Tomas J. Philipson & Richard A. Posner, 2008. "Is the Obesity Epidemic a Public Health Problem? A Review of Zoltan J. Acs and Alan Lyles's Obesity, Business and Public Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 974-982, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:46:y:2008:i:4:p:974-82 Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.46.4.974
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kuchler, Fred & Ballenger, Nicole, 2002. "Societal Costs of Obesity: How Can We Assess When Federal Interventions Will Pay?," Food Review: The Magazine of Food Economics, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, vol. 25(3).
    2. Levy, Amnon, 2002. "Rational eating: can it lead to overweightness or underweightness?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 887-899, September.
    3. Timothy J. Richards & Paul M. Patterson & Abebayehu Tegene, 2007. "Obesity And Nutrient Consumption: A Rational Addiction?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(3), pages 309-324, July.
    4. Cawley, John & Markowitz, Sara & Tauras, John, 2004. "Lighting up and slimming down: the effects of body weight and cigarette prices on adolescent smoking initiation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 293-311, March.
    5. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2007. "Labor Supply and Weight," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(1).
    6. 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.
    7. Biddle, Jeff E & Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1998. "Beauty, Productivity, and Discrimination: Lawyers' Looks and Lucre," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 172-201, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kapinos, Kandice A. & Yakusheva, Olga & Eisenberg, Daniel, 2014. "Obesogenic environmental influences on young adults: Evidence from college dormitory assignments," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, pages 98-109.
    2. Dragone, Davide & Savorelli, Luca, 2012. "Thinness and obesity: A model of food consumption, health concerns, and social pressure," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 243-256.
    3. Gilad Sorek, 2013. "Efficient Self-Protection and Progress in Curing-Technology," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2013-07, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
    4. Georgia S. Papoutsi & Andreas C. Drichoutis & Rodolfo M. Nayga Jr., 2013. "The Causes Of Childhood Obesity: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(4), pages 743-767, September.
    5. Michelle S. Goeree & John C. Ham & Daniela Iorio, 2011. "Race, Social Class, and Bulimia Nervosa," Working Papers 2011-034, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    6. Buchmueller, Thomas C. & Johar, Meliyanni, 2015. "Obesity and health expenditures: Evidence from Australia," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, pages 42-58.
    7. Karaoglan, Deniz & Tansel, Aysit, 2017. "Determinants of Obesity in Turkey: A Quantile Regression Analysis from a Developing Country," MPRA Paper 76250, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Davide, Dragone & Francesco, Manaresi & Luca, Savorelli, 2013. "Obesity and smoking: can we catch two birds with one tax?," SIRE Discussion Papers 2013-31, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    9. Offer, Avner & Pechey, Rachel & Ulijaszek, Stanley, 2010. "Obesity under affluence varies by welfare regimes: The effect of fast food, insecurity, and inequality," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, pages 297-308.
    10. Rachel Griffith & Sarah Smith & Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder, 2014. "Getting a healthy start? Nudge versus economic incentives," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 14/328, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    11. Pampel, Fred C. & Denney, Justin T. & Krueger, Patrick M., 2012. "Obesity, SES, and economic development: A test of the reversal hypothesis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 1073-1081.
    12. Naimzada, Ahmad & Pireddu, Marina, 2016. "Endogenous evolution of heterogeneous consumers preferences: Multistability and coexistence between groups," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 22-26.
    13. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:26:y:2017:i:c:p:70-85 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:bri:cmpowp:13/328 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. 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).
    16. Wang, Yang & Yang, Muzhe, 2013. "Crisis-induced depression, physical activity and dietary intake among young adults: Evidence from the 9/11 terrorist attacks," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, pages 206-220.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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