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The Rise of Obesity in Transition: Theory and Empirical Evidence from Russia

  • Huffman, Sonya K.
  • Rizov, Marian

This paper integrates theoretical and empirical models to study the rise of human obesity in Russia during the transition from a planned to a market economy. To test our hypotheses we use recent individual-level data from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey for 1995 and 2004. Estimation results strongly support our model of production and supply of BMI (body-mass index) and weight. The analysis indicates strong links between dietary patterns, individual characteristics, and environmental factors and obesity in Russia. Understanding these relationships is important for designing effective public policies aiming to improve overall nutritional wellbeing and reduce obesity and mortality of the Russian population. Interventions, which enhance education and awareness of healthy lifestyles and healthy diet, could play a vital role in preventing obesity in Russia.

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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 13107.

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Date of creation: 22 Dec 1009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Development Studies, March 2010, vol. 46 no. 3, pp. 1-22
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:13107
Contact details of provider: Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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  1. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1980. "An Almost Ideal Demand System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 312-26, June.
  2. Huffman, Wallace E., 1991. "Agricultural Household Models: Survey and Critique," Staff General Research Papers 11008, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Gary S.Grossman Becker & Michael Murphy & Kevin M., 1991. "Rational Addiction and the Effect of Price on Consumption," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 68, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  4. Grossman, Michael, 2000. "The human capital model," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 347-408 Elsevier.
  5. Inas Rashad & Michael Grossman & Shin-Yi Chou, 2005. "The Super Size of America: An Economic Estimation of Body Mass Index and Obesity in Adults," NBER Working Papers 11584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Huffman, Sonya K. & Rizov, Marian, 2007. "Determinants of obesity in transition economies: The case of Russia," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 379-391, December.
  7. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  8. Zohoori, Namvar & Mroz, Thomas A. & Popkin, Barry & Glinskaya, Elena & Lokshin, Michael & Mancini, Dominic & Kozyreva, Polina & Kosolapov, Mikhail & Swafford, Michael, 1998. "Monitoring the economic transition in the Russian Federation and its implications for the demographic crisis -- the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(11), pages 1977-1993, November.
  9. Elizabeth Brainerd & David M. Cutler, 2004. "Autopsy on an Empire: Understanding Mortality in Russia and the Former Soviet Union," NBER Working Papers 10868, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Heckman, James J, 1974. "Shadow Prices, Market Wages, and Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(4), pages 679-94, July.
  12. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson & Jay Bhattacharya, 2005. "Welfare-Enhancing Technological Change and the Growth of Obesity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 253-257, May.
  13. Pollak, Robert A, 1970. "Habit Formation and Dynamic Demand Functions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(4), pages 745-63, Part I Ju.
  14. Mendez, Michelle A. & Popkin, Barry M., 2004. "Globalization, Urbanization and Nutritional Change in the Developing World," eJADE: electronic Journal of Agricultural and Development Economics, Food and Agriculture Organization, Agricultural and Development Economics Division, vol. 1(2).
  15. J. Scott Shonkwiler & Steven T. Yen, 1999. "Two-Step Estimation of a Censored System of Equations," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(4), pages 972-982.
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