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Functional food consumption and depression among the elderly — What can we learn from a longitudinal survey?

  • Chang, Hung-Hao

Depressive syndromes among the elderly have been recognized as important public health issues. This study contributes to this issue by investigating the causal effect of functional food consumption on depression among the elderly using a unique panel dataset of 1480 individuals drawn from a national representative survey of Taiwanese elderly in 1999, 2003 and 2007. In addition to estimating a standard individual fixed effect model, a random trend fixed effect model which allows for both unobserved individual-specific time invariant and variant factors is estimated. The results of the random trend model point to a significant and negative effect of functional food consumption on depression among the elderly. However, an insignificant effect is predicted by the standard fixed effect model. In addition to functional food consumption, living arrangement with children and engagement in the social activities of the elderly also significantly decrease the likelihood of the elderly becoming depressed.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Modelling.

Volume (Year): 33 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 187-193

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:33:y:2013:i:c:p:187-193
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30411

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  1. James J. Heckman, 1989. "Choosing Among Alternative Nonexperimental Methods for Estimating the Impact of Social Programs: The Case of Manpower Training," NBER Working Papers 2861, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Wadolowska, Lidia & Danowska-Oziewicz, Marzena & Stewart-Knox, Barbara & Vaz de Almeida, Maria Daniel, 2009. "Differences between older and younger Poles in functional food consumption, awareness of metabolic syndrome risk and perceived barriers to health improvement," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 311-318, June.
  3. M. D. R. Evans & Jonathan Kelley, 2004. "Effect of Family Structure on Life Satisfaction: Australian Evidence," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2004n24, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  4. Williams, Peter & Ridges, Leisa & Batterham, Marijka & Ripper, Bridget & Hung, Man Chi, 2008. "Australian consumer attitudes to health claim - food product compatibility for functional foods," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 640-643, December.
  5. JoAnne Labrecque & Maurice Doyon & François Bellavance & Jane Kolodinsky, 2006. "Acceptance of Functional Foods: A Comparison of French, American, and French Canadian Consumers," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 54(4), pages 647-661, December.
  6. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
  7. Likwang Chen & Winnie Yip & Ming-Cheng Chang & Hui-Sheng Lin & Shyh-Dye Lee & Ya-Ling Chiu & Yu-Hsuan Lin, 2007. "The effects of Taiwan's National Health Insurance on access and health status of the elderly," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 223-242.
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