IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

On the Nexus between Economic and Obesity Crisis in Spain: Parametric and Nonparametric Analysis of the Role of Economic Factors on Obesity Prevalence


  • Radwan, Amr
  • Gil, José M.


Poor diets and rising obesity rates dominate the current food, nutrition and health policy debate in many countries, including Spain. Despite the increasing obesity rate in Spain, there has been no known published research in Spain that has studied the economic factors affecting obesity prevalence. The main aim of our work is analysing the relevance of economic factors in obesity prevalence in Spain. This aim is especially relevant in shadow of the Economic crisis that hit Spain recently. Our methodological approach depending upon the estimation of a multinomial Logit Regression (MLR) Combined with a nonparametric model, the Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS), to judge the role of different socioeconomic factors on the obesity prevalence. Despite the desirable advantages of using nonparametric models such as MARS, our paper is the first attempt to use this type of models to analyse the determinant factors of obesity prevalence. Our results suggest that Socio Economic factors seem to have a significant impact on obesity prevalence. MARS models outperform the traditional MLR and could be a helpful tool for understanding the nature of the relationship and moreover it could be helpful as pre estimate guides the estimation of its parametric counterpart.

Suggested Citation

  • Radwan, Amr & Gil, José M., 2014. "On the Nexus between Economic and Obesity Crisis in Spain: Parametric and Nonparametric Analysis of the Role of Economic Factors on Obesity Prevalence," 88th Annual Conference, April 9-11, 2014, AgroParisTech, Paris, France 170341, Agricultural Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aesc14:170341

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Toni Mora & Joan Gil & Antoni Sicras-Mainar, 2012. "The influence of BMI, obesity and overweight on medical costs: a panel data approach," Working Papers 2012/37, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    2. Kuhnert, Petra M. & Do, Kim-Anh & McClure, Rod, 2000. "Combining non-parametric models with logistic regression: an application to motor vehicle injury data," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 371-386, September.
    3. Case, Anne & Menendez, Alicia, 2009. "Sex differences in obesity rates in poor countries: Evidence from South Africa," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 271-282, December.
    4. repec:pri:cheawb:case_and_menendez_ehb_dec_2009 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Miljkovic, Dragan & Nganje, William & de Chastenet, Helene, 2008. "Economic factors affecting the increase in obesity in the United States: Differential response to price," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 48-60, February.
    8. 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.
    9. Gil, Joan & Mora, Toni, 2011. "The determinants of misreporting weight and height: The role of social norms," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 78-91, January.
    10. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
    11. Cavaliere, Alessia & Banterle, Alessandro, 2008. "Economic factors affecting obesity: an application in Italy," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 44324, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    12. Emma García & José M. Labeaga & Ana Carolina Ortega Masagué, 2006. "Maternal Employment and Childhood Obesity in Spain," Working Papers 2006-17, FEDEA.
    13. Lin, Biing-Hwan & Smith, Travis A. & Lee, Jonq-Ying & Hall, Kevin D., 2011. "Measuring weight outcomes for obesity intervention strategies: The case of a sugar-sweetened beverage tax," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 329-341.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Gracia-Arnaiz, Mabel, 2017. "Taking measures in times of crisis: The political economy of obesity prevention in Spain," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 65-76.

    More about this item


    Obesity; Multinomial Logit; Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS); Spain; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Health Economics and Policy; International Relations/Trade; I10; I18; Q11;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:aesc14:170341. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.