IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp4149.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Do the Obese Really Die Younger or Do Health Expenditures Buy Them Extra Years?

Author

Listed:
  • Frijters, Paul

    () (London School of Economics)

  • Barón, Juan D.

    () (World Bank)

Abstract

A recent debate in the medical literature has arisen around the mortality effects of obesity. Whereas it has been argued that the obese die younger, the data that have become available do not immediately support this. This potentially undermines the hypothesis that modern life with its physical ease and cheap food would eventually make us die younger, and undermines the notion that economic growth comes with health warnings. We revisit this debate going over the mortality effects of obesity, using the US Health and Retirement Study. Whilst we find that obesity leads to chronic diseases that reduce length of life, we also find that the obese survive strokes and lung disease more often than the non-obese. A possible explanation is that the obese are under greater medical scrutiny, meaning that lung disease is more quickly diagnosed. This result holds when controlling for smoking and the long-term effects of obesity.

Suggested Citation

  • Frijters, Paul & Barón, Juan D., 2009. "Do the Obese Really Die Younger or Do Health Expenditures Buy Them Extra Years?," IZA Discussion Papers 4149, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4149
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp4149.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Frank A. Sloan & Jan Ostermann & Christopher Conover & Donald H. Taylor, Jr. & Gabriel Picone, 2006. "The Price of Smoking," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262693453, January.
    2. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2004:94:9:1486-1489_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The Mental Health puzzle, part IV: the economic hypothesis.
      by Paul Frijters in Core Economics on 2013-06-11 06:09:26
    2. The Mental Health puzzle, part IV: the economic hypothesis.
      by Paul Frijters in Club Troppo on 2013-06-11 06:09:58
    3. The Mental Health puzzle, part IV: the economic hypothesis.
      by ? in Core Economics on 2013-06-11 07:09:00

    More about this item

    Keywords

    obesity; longitudinal data; mortality; smoking; reverse-causality;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4149. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.