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Over-Nutrition and Changing Health Status in High Income Countries

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  • Huffman, Wallace
  • Huffman, Sonya K.
  • Rickertsen, Kyrre
  • Tegene, Abebayehu

Abstract

Malnutrition and food deprivation, which are concentrated in poor countries, have been a long-term concern of economists, but as per capita income in developed countries has grown in the 20th century, a new problem of over-nutrition leading to obesity has occurred. This paper develops models of calorie demand and health supply, as reflected in aggregate mortality statistics, and tests them against data for high income countries. The models are fitted to newly developed international aggregate data for 18 high income countries over 1971-2001. Some findings are that a higher price of food, of other purchased consumer goods and of wages reduces the macro demand for calories and supply of mortality associated with obesity, but other forms of mortality are unaffected by these prices. In the aggregate, caloric intake is a normal good, contributing to energy imbalance. However, higher incomes do reduce macro level mortality risk. Higher labor force participation rates, associated with working women, increase the macro demand for calories and the supply of obesity-related mortality.

Suggested Citation

  • Huffman, Wallace & Huffman, Sonya K. & Rickertsen, Kyrre & Tegene, Abebayehu, 2006. "Over-Nutrition and Changing Health Status in High Income Countries," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12604, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12604
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    File URL: http://www2.econ.iastate.edu/papers/p3852-2006-05-01.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Beghin, John C. & Jensen, Helen H., 2008. "Farm policies and added sugars in US diets," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 480-488, December.
    2. Huffman, Wallace, 2008. "Rising Food and Energy Prices: Projections for Labor Markets 2008-18 and Beyond," Staff General Research Papers Archive 13000, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    3. Barbieri, Paolo Nicola, 2015. "Social Distortion in Weight Perception: A Decomposition of the Obesity Epidemic," Working Papers in Economics 639, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    4. Staudigel, Matthias, 2012. "On The Application Of Household Production Theory To Health And Nutrition," 52nd Annual Conference, Stuttgart, Germany, September 26-28, 2012 137389, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    5. Staudigel, Matthias, 2011. "How (much) do food prices contribute to obesity in Russia?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 133-147, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    mortality; food prices; health; obesity; calories; over-nutrition; developed countries;

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General

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