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Are there Socio-Economic Inequalities in Obesity in Spain?

  • Joan Costa i Font
  • Joan Gil

Obesity is one of the main health policy concerns in western societies today. In spite of its strong policy implications, the research devoted to the issue has been somewhat limited. This paper empirically examines the existence of income-related inequalities in obesity in Spain, using the National Health Survey (2001) and recently developed methods to estimate inequalities in obesity and its decomposition. Our findings indicate evidence of significant income inequalities in obesity prevalence. Yet, the contribution of education is the main explanatory variable of the prevalence of obesity, followed by income, physical exercise and region of residence. The results suggest that the individual's social environment is a non-dismissible variable in explaining the proliferation of obesity in Spain.

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Paper provided by FEDEA in its series Studies on the Spanish Economy with number 217.

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Handle: RePEc:fda:fdaeee:217
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  1. Joan Costa Font & Joan Gil Trasfi, 2005. "Obesity and the Incidence of Chronic Diseases: a Seemingly Unrelated Probit Approach," Working Papers in Economics 137, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  2. Susan Averett & Sanders Korenman, 1996. "The Economic Reality of the Beauty Myth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(2), pages 304-330.
  3. Shapiro, Jesse & Glaeser, Edward & Cutler, David, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese," Scholarly Articles 2640583, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Shin-Yi Chou & Michael Grossman & Henry Saffer, 2002. "An Economic Analysis of Adult Obesity: Results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," NBER Working Papers 9247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. repec:fda:fdaddt:2004-19 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Costa-Font, Joan & Gil, Joan, 2005. "Obesity and the incidence of chronic diseases in Spain: A seemingly unrelated probit approach," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 188-214, July.
  7. M. Kate Bundorf & Laurence Baker & Sara Singer & Todd Wagner, 2004. "Consumer Demand for Health Information on the Internet," NBER Working Papers 10386, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Joan Costa-Font & Joan Gil, 2004. "Social interactions and the contemporaneous determinants of individuals' weight," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(20), pages 2253-2263.
  9. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
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