Social class and body weight among Chinese urban adults: The role of the middle classes in the nutrition transition
While a plethoric empirical literature addresses the relationship between socio-economic status and body weight, little is known about the influence of social class on nutritional outcomes, particularly in developing countries. The purpose of this article is to contribute to the analysis of the social determinants of adult body weight in urban China by taking into account the influence of social class. More specifically, we propose to analyse the position of the Chinese urban middle class in terms of being overweight or obese. The empirical investigations conducted as part of this research are based on a sample of 1320 households and 2841 adults from the China Health and Nutrition Survey for 2009. For the first step, we combine an economic approach and a sociological approach to identify social classes at household level. First, households with an annual per capita income between 10,000 Yuan and the 95th income percentile are considered as members of the middle class. Second, we strengthen the characterization of the middle class using information on education and employment. By applying clustering methods, we identify four groups: the elderly and inactive middle class, the old middle class, the lower middle class and the new middle class. For the second step, we implement an econometric analysis to assess the influence of social class on adult body mass index and on the probability of being overweight or obese. We use multinomial treatment regressions to deal with the endogeneity of the social class variable. Our results show that among the four subgroups of the urban middle class, the new middle class is the only one to be relatively well-protected against obesity. We suggest that this group plays a special role in adopting healthier food consumption habits and seems to be at a more advanced stage of the nutrition transition.
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.
Volume (Year): 112 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
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.:
- Céline Bonnefond & Matthieu Clément & François Combarnous, 2015.
"In search of the elusive Chinese urban middle class: an exploratory analysis,"
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(1), pages 41-59, March.
- Céline BONNEFOND & Matthieu CLEMENT & François COMBARNOUS, 2013. "In search of the elusive Chinese urban middle class: An exploratory analysis," Cahiers du GREThA 2013-19, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
- Céline Bonnefond & Matthieu Clément & François Combarnous, 2015. "In search of the elusive Chinese urban middle class: An exploratory analysis," Post-Print hal-01135654, HAL.
- Barry M. Popkin, 2003. "The Nutrition Transition in the Developing World," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 21(5-6), pages 581-597, December.
- Pieroni, Luca & Salmasi, Luca, 2010. "Body weight and socio-economic determinants: quantile estimations from the British Household Panel Survey," ISER Working Paper Series 2010-41, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
- Pieroni, Luca & Salmasi, Luca, 2010. "Body weight and socio-economic determinants: quantile estimations from the British Household Panel Survey," MPRA Paper 26434, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Dewen Wang, 2006. "China's Urban and Rural Old Age Security System: Challenges and Options," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 14(1), pages 102-116.
- Céline Bonnefond & Matthieu Clément, 2012. "An analysis of income polarisation in rural and urban China," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(1), pages 15-37, June.
- Céline BONNEFOND (GREThA, CNRS, UMR5113) & Matthieu CLEMENT (GREThA, CNRS, UMR5113), 2011. "An analysis of income polarization in rural and urban China," Cahiers du GREThA 2011-26, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
- Zhang, Xiaoyong & Dagevos, Hans & He, Yuna & van der Lans, Ivo & Zhai, Fengying, 2008. "Consumption and corpulence in China: A consumer segmentation study based on the food perspective," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 37-47, February.
- McLaren, Lindsay & Kuh, Diana, 2004. "Women's body dissatisfaction, social class, and social mobility," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(9), pages 1575-1584, May.
- Partha Deb & Pravin K. Trivedi, 2006. "Specification and simulated likelihood estimation of a non-normal treatment-outcome model with selection: Application to health care utilization," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 9(2), pages 307-331, 07.
- Liu, Zhiqiang, 2005. "Institution and inequality: the hukou system in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 133-157, March.
- Strauss, John & Lei, Xiaoyan & Park, Albert & Shen, Yan & Smith, James P. & Yang, Zhe & Zhao, Yaohui, 2010. "Health Outcomes and Socio-Economic Status among the Elderly in China: Evidence from the CHARLS Pilot," IZA Discussion Papers 5152, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Tafreschi, Darjusch, 2015. "The income body weight gradients in the developing economy of China," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 16(C), pages 115-134.
- Tafreschi, Darjusch, 2011. "The Income Body Weight Gradients in the Developing Economy of China," Economics Working Paper Series 1140, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
- repec:ran:wpaper:774 is not listed on IDEAS
- Du, Shufa & Mroz, Tom A. & Zhai, Fengying & Popkin, Barry M., 2004. "Rapid income growth adversely affects diet quality in China--particularly for the poor!," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(7), pages 1505-1515, October.
- Jacqueline Elfick, 2011. "Class Formation and Consumption among Middle-Class Professionals in Shenzhen," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 40(1), pages 187-211.
- PAN, Jay & QIN, Xuezheng & LIU, Gordon G., 2013. "The impact of body size on urban employment: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 249-263.
- Satoru Shimokawa, 2008. "The labour market impact of body weight in China: a semiparametric analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(8), pages 949-968.
- Jones-Smith, Jessica C. & Popkin, Barry M., 2010. "Understanding community context and adult health changes in China: Development of an urbanicity scale," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(8), pages 1436-1446, October.
- Bing Ma, 2010. "Socioeconomic Status and Obesity Gradient over Age:New Evidence from China," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 10-122, UMBC Department of Economics, revised 01 Mar 2012. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)