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Calories, obesity and health in OECD countries

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  • Mario Mazzocchi
  • W. Bruce Traill

Abstract

Theoretical models suggest that decisions about diet, weight and health status are endogenous within a utility maximization framework. In this article, we model these behavioural relationships in a fixed-effect panel setting using a simultaneous equation system, with a view to determining whether economic variables can explain the trends in calorie consumption, obesity and health in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries and the large differences among the countries. The empirical model shows that progress in medical treatment and health expenditure mitigates mortality from diet-related diseases, despite rising obesity rates. While the model accounts for endogeneity and serial correlation, results are affected by data limitations.

Suggested Citation

  • Mario Mazzocchi & W. Bruce Traill, 2011. "Calories, obesity and health in OECD countries," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(26), pages 3919-3929.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:43:y:2011:i:26:p:3919-3929
    DOI: 10.1080/00036841003742587
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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. Maria L. Loureiro & Rodolfo M. Nayga, 2005. "International Dimensions of Obesity and Overweight Related Problems: An Economics Perspective," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1147-1153.
    3. Jonathan Gruber & Michael Frakes, 2005. "Does Falling Smoking Lead to Rising Obesity?," NBER Working Papers 11483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 93-118, Summer.
    5. Chou, Shin-Yi & Grossman, Michael & Saffer, Henry, 2004. "An economic analysis of adult obesity: results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 565-587, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Irz, Xavier & Leroy, Pascal & Réquillart, Vincent & Soler, Louis-Georges, 2015. "Economic assessment of nutritional recommendations," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 188-210.
    2. Staudigel, Matthias, 2011. "How (much) do food prices contribute to obesity in Russia?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 133-147, March.
    3. Staudigel, Matthias, 2016. "A soft pillow for hard times? Economic insecurity, food intake and body weight in Russia," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 198-212.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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