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Obesity under affluence varies by welfare regimes: The effect of fast food, insecurity, and inequality

  • Offer, Avner
  • Pechey, Rachel
  • Ulijaszek, Stanley

Among affluent countries, those with market-liberal welfare regimes (which are also English-speaking) tend to have the highest prevalence of obesity. The impact of cheap, accessible high-energy food is often invoked in explanation. An alternative approach is that overeating is a response to stress, and that competition, uncertainty, and inequality make market-liberal societies more stressful. This ecological regression meta-study pools 96 body-weight surveys from 11 countries c. 1994-2004. The fast-food [`]shock' impact is found to work most strongly in market-liberal countries. Economic insecurity, measured in several different ways, was almost twice as powerful, while the impact of inequality was weak, and went in the opposite direction.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

Volume (Year): 8 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 297-308

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:8:y:2010:i:3:p:297-308
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

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