Out-of-pocket health care expenditures due to excess of body weight in Portugal
The prevalence for excessive weight has also been increasing dramatically in Portugal over the last decades. The consequences for families as well as for the publicly funded Portuguese health care system are a matter of policy interest. This paper uses an econometric model to compute the fraction of the national out-of-pocket health care expenditures attributable to overweight and obesity among Portuguese adults. Given that public health care system pays for a substantial share of the national health care expenditures, the estimated the out-of-pocket expenditures is only a share of the total expenditures. Per-capita expenditures and the burden that obesity and overweight impose on families are also estimated. Two waves of the Portuguese National Health Survey (NHS), namely; 1995/1996 and 1998/1999 are considered. The results suggest that out-of-pocket expenditures due to excess weight have increased sharply during these 3 years. The two-part model estimates suggest that the obese and overweight are more likely to incur out-of-pocket health care expenditures but, in the restricted sample of those that incur expenditures, there is weak or no evidence that the obese or overweight spend, on average, more than those of normal weight. Overall, it is estimated that in 1995/1996, more than 1.8% out-of-pocket health care expenditures were attributable to obesity and 2% to overweight (although not statistically significant). The estimated percentages are over 2.9% for obesity and 4% for overweight in 1998/1999. Combined, the estimated attributable percentage of national out-of-pocket expenditures due to excess weight was 3.8% in 1995/1996 and 6.9% in 1998/1999. Per-capita expenditures due to obesity or overweight are small, on average, in absolute terms, but they can be a significant cost for low income families. With respect to public policy concerns, the results suggest that measures which only slightly increase the out-of-pocket health care expenditures of being obese (overweight) are likely to be inefficient.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Chaloupka, Frank J. & Warner, Kenneth E., 2000.
"The economics of smoking,"
Handbook of Health Economics,
in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 29, pages 1539-1627
- Jay Bhattacharya & Neeraj Sood, 2005. "Health Insurance and the Obesity Externality," NBER Working Papers 11529, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:6:y:2008:i:1:p:127-142. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.