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Socio-economic characteristics and obesity in underdeveloped economies: does income really matter?

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  • Awudu Abdulai

Abstract

Available evidence suggests that overweight and obesity prevalence is increasing worldwide at an alarming rate in both developed and developing countries. This study focuses on the determinants of overweight in mothers and children, using a unique dataset collected in urban Accra, in Ghana. The findings show that mothers' education, employment status and ethnicity significantly exert influence on the generation of body weight. In particular, those who attained secondary and tertiary education had lower body mass indices and were much less likely to be overweight or obese, lending support to the notion that more educated women normally have better health knowledge and are more likely to consume healthy foods and also engage in physical exercises that help to control weight gain. Mother's education was also found to exert a negative and significant impact on the weight status of children. Furthermore, household expenditure was found to exert a positive and significant impact on the probability of a mother being overweight or obese, but no significant impact on the probability of a child being overweight.

Suggested Citation

  • Awudu Abdulai, 2010. "Socio-economic characteristics and obesity in underdeveloped economies: does income really matter?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 157-169.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:42:y:2010:i:2:p:157-169
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840701604313
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2002. "The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination," Working Papers 0203, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    2. Maxwell, Daniel G. & Levin, Carol E. & Armar-Klemesu, Margaret & Ruel, Marie T. & Morris, Saul Sutkover & Ahiadeke, Clement, 2000. "Urban livelihoods and food and nutrition security in Greater Accra, Ghana:," Research reports 112, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119.
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    Cited by:

    1. Römling, Cornelia & Qaim, Matin, 2011. "Direct and Indirect Determinants of Obesity: The Case of Indonesia," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 70, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    2. Romling, Cornelia & Qaim, Matin, 2011. "Direct and Indirect Determinants of Obesity: The Case of Indonesia," Discussion Papers 108350, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    3. Butzlaf, Iris & Minos, Dimitrios, 2016. "Understanding the Drivers of Overweight and Obesity in Developing Countries: The Case of South Africa," Discussion Papers 232025, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    4. Eva Deuchert & Sofie Cabus & Darjusch Tafreschi, 2014. "A Short Note On Economic Development And Socioeconomic Inequality In Female Body Weight," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(7), pages 861-869, July.
    5. Amy Damon & Devon Kristiansen, 2014. "Childhood obesity in Mexico: the effect of international migration," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 45(6), pages 711-727, November.
    6. repec:zbw:gdec11:aglobalfooddiscussionpapersx4 is not listed on IDEAS

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