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Are US obesity rates converging?


  • Xun Li
  • Rui Wang


The purpose of the present study is to determine whether US obesity rates are converging. Using US overweight rates and obesity rates data in 50 states and District of Columbia during 1996–2013, the results of this article show that $$\beta $$β-convergence occurred for obesity rates, overweight rates, and overweight and obesity rates during time period 1996–2001. The existence of $$\beta $$β-convergence also varies in different regions. It was also found that $$\sigma $$σ-convergence occurred in the full period 1996–2013 and several sub-periods. These findings imply that more policies and regulations should be placed on specific regions, for example, the Northeast. Meanwhile, relevant policies could be ineffective in some sub-periods without the occurrence of $$\sigma $$σ-convergence.

Suggested Citation

  • Xun Li & Rui Wang, 2016. "Are US obesity rates converging?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(8), pages 539-543, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:23:y:2016:i:8:p:539-543
    DOI: 10.1080/13504851.2015.1085634

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    Cited by:

    1. Saadet Kasman & Adnan Kasman, 0. "Convergence in obesity and overweight rates across OECD countries: evidence from the stochastic and club convergence tests," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-34.
    2. Duncan, Roberto & Toledo, Patricia, 2018. "Long-run overweight levels and convergence in body mass index," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 26-39.
    3. Sameem, Sediq, 2020. "Are U.S. lung cancer mortality rates converging?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 190-197.
    4. Duncan, Roberto & Toledo, Patricia, 2018. "Do overweight and obesity prevalence rates converge in Europe?," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(4), pages 482-493.
    5. Shahdad Naghshpour & Sediq Sameem, 2019. "Convergence of Mortality Among African Americans," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 64(2), pages 237-245, October.
    6. 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.

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