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Fat Chance: Modelling the Socio-Economic Determinants of Dietary Fat Intake in China

  • Shankar, Bhavani

Quantile Regression methods have much to offer the investigation of the determinants of dietary intake. Dietary inadequacy or excess occurs at the tails of nutrient and food intakes, and it seems intuitive that intake responses in these areas will differ from elsewhere along the intake distribution. We apply quantile regression to examine the drivers of a key aspect of dietary health, fat density of energy intake in China. The sample of 2612 individuals between the ages of 20 and 45 is derived from the China Health and Nutrition Survey. The following insights emerge: (i) Fat density increases with income, but worryingly the income effect is more pronounced at the upper conditional tail of fat intake (ii) While it is confirmed that an urban location contributes to higher fat density for the most part, this effect disappears at the upper conditional quantiles, suggesting that, at the most unhealthy levels of fat density conditional on covariates, the problem is as much a rural one as it is urban.

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Paper provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China with number 51538.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae09:51538
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  1. Fang, Cheng & Beghin, John C., 2002. "Urban Demand for Edible Oils and Fats in China: Evidence from Household Survey Data," Staff General Research Papers 1863, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Yen, Steven T. & Fang, Cheng & Su, Shew-Jiuan, 2004. "Household food demand in urban China: a censored system approach," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 564-585, September.
  3. 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.
  4. Abdulai, Awudu & Aubert, Dominique, 2004. "Nonparametric and parametric analysis of calorie consumption in Tanzania," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 113-129, April.
  5. Gibson, John & Rozelle, Scott, 2000. "How Elastic Is Calorie Demand? Parametric, Nonparametric, And Semiparametric Results For Urban Papua New Guinea," Working Papers 11961, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  6. Behrman, Jere R. & Wolfe, Barbara L., 1984. "More evidence on nutrition demand : Income seems overrated and women's schooling underemphasized," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 105-128.
  7. Behrman, Jere R & Deolalikar, Anil B, 1987. "Will Developing Country Nutrition Improve with Income? A Case Study for Rural South India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 492-507, June.
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