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Do overweight and obesity prevalence rates converge in Europe?

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  • Duncan, Roberto
  • Toledo, Patricia

Abstract

We exploit recently published data to evaluate the long-run evolution of overweight and obesity rates among European economies between 1975 and 2016. We find that overweight rates for both females and males converge in Europe. In particular, the convergence is driven by the nations in the EU. This fact is consistent with food patterns as well as trade, agricultural, and health policies that are common among EU members. Across our model specifications, the steady-state average overweight rate ranges between 60% and 77% for European female individuals and lies above 82% for their male counterparts. Confidence intervals suggest that such gender differences are statistically significant. In the EU, the point estimates of these rates are 62% and 91%, respectively. Obesity prevalence in Europe would reach long-term rates of 39% and 45% for females and males respectively, whereas these rates would be similar in the EU (approximately 28%).

Suggested Citation

  • Duncan, Roberto & Toledo, Patricia, 2018. "Do overweight and obesity prevalence rates converge in Europe?," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(4), pages 482-493.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:reecon:v:72:y:2018:i:4:p:482-493
    DOI: 10.1016/j.rie.2018.09.002
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