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‘Globesity’? The effects of globalization on obesity and caloric intake

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  • Costa-Font, Joan
  • Mas, Núria

Abstract

We examine the effect of globalization, in its economic and social dimensions, on obesity and caloric intake, namely the so –called ‘globesity’ hypothesis. Our results suggest a robust association between globalization and both obesity and caloric intake. A one standard deviation increase in globalization is associated with a 23.8 percent increase in obese population and a 4.3 percent rise in calorie intake. The effect remains statistically significant even after using an instrumental variable strategy to correct for some possible reverse causality and ommited variable bias, a lagged structure, and corrections for panel standard errors. However, we find that the primary driver (of the ‘globesity’ phenomenon) is the ‘social’ rather than the ‘economic’ dimension of globalization, and specifically the effect of changes in ‘information flows’ and ‘social proximity’ on obesity. A one standard deviation increase in social globalization increased the percentage of obese population by 13.7 percent.

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  • Costa-Font, Joan & Mas, Núria, 2016. "‘Globesity’? The effects of globalization on obesity and caloric intake," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 121-132.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:64:y:2016:i:c:p:121-132
    DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2016.10.001
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    Cited by:

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    2. Giuntella, Osea & Rieger, Matthias & Rotunno, Lorenzo, 2020. "Weight gains from trade in foods: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    3. Duncan, Roberto & Toledo, Patricia, 2018. "Do overweight and obesity prevalence rates converge in Europe?," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(4), pages 482-493.
    4. Costa-Font, Joan & Györi, Mario, 2020. "The weight of patriarchy? Gender obesity gaps in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 266(C).
    5. Duncan, Roberto & Toledo, Patricia, 2019. "Inequality in body mass indices across countries: Evidence from convergence tests," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 40-57.
    6. Peter A.G. van Bergeijk, 2019. "Deglobalization 2.0," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 18560.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Globalization; Obesity; Calorie intake; Health production; Social globalization; Economic globalization; KOF index;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • F69 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Other
    • P46 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty

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