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'Globesity'? The Effects of Globalization on Obesity and Caloric Intake

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  • Joan Costa-i-Font
  • Núria Mas

Abstract

We examine the effect of globalization, in its economic and social dimensions, on obesity and caloric intake, namely the so –called ‘globesity’ hypothesis. Our results suggest a robust association between globalization and both obesity and caloric intake. A one standard deviation increase in globalization is associated with a 23.8 percent increase in obese population and a 4.3 percent rise in calorie intake. The effect remains statistically significant even with an instrumental variable strategy to correct for some possible reverse causality, a lagged structure, and corrections for panel standard errors. However, we find that the primary driver is ‘social’ rather than ‘economic’ globalization effects, and specifically the effects of changes in ‘information flows’ and ‘social proximity’ on obesity. A one standard deviation increase in social globalization increased the percentage of obese population by 13.7 percent.

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  • Joan Costa-i-Font & Núria Mas, 2014. "'Globesity'? The Effects of Globalization on Obesity and Caloric Intake," CESifo Working Paper Series 4982, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4982
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    Cited by:

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    2. Giuntella, Osea & Rieger, Matthias & Rotunno, Lorenzo, 2020. "Weight gains from trade in foods: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    3. Duncan, Roberto & Toledo, Patricia, 2018. "Do overweight and obesity prevalence rates converge in Europe?," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(4), pages 482-493.
    4. Koengkan, Matheus & Fuinhas, José Alberto, 2021. "Does the overweight epidemic cause energy consumption? A piece of empirical evidence from the European region," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 216(C).
    5. Costa-Font, Joan & Györi, Mario, 2020. "The weight of patriarchy? Gender obesity gaps in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 266(C).
    6. Peter A.G. van Bergeijk, 2019. "Deglobalization 2.0," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 18560.
    7. 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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    More about this item

    Keywords

    globalization; obesity; calorie intake; health production; social globalization; economic globalization; KOF Index;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • F69 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Other
    • P46 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty

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