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The Direct Effect of Obesity on Emotional Well-Being: Evidence from Mexico

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  • Olivier Bargain

    () (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales, IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor, CEPS/INSTEAD - Centre d'Etudes de Populations, de Pauvreté et de Politiques Socio-Economiques / International Networks for Studies in Technology, Environment, Alternatives, Development - Centre d'Etudes de Populations, de Pauvreté et de Politiques Socio-Economiques / International Networks for Studies in Technology, Environment, Alternatives, Development)

  • Jinan Zeidan

    (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales)

Abstract

Obesity spreads more easily if is not perceived negatively. This may be the case among the poor, for whom fatness can be an external sign of wealth. We estimate the direct effect of overweight on emotional well-being in Mexico, a country facing the highest obesity rate in the world. Individual fatness is instrumented using variation in genetic predisposition. Results confirm a positive or insignificant effects of obesity among the poor and point to a depressing effect among the rich. This is consistent with contrasted norms, related to unequal development levels, which may exacerbate health inequality and justify targeted communication by health authorities.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Bargain & Jinan Zeidan, 2014. "The Direct Effect of Obesity on Emotional Well-Being: Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers halshs-01024452, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-01024452
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01024452
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    emotional well-being; obesity; waist-to-height ratio;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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