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An Empirical Analysis on the Determinants of Overweight and Obesity in China


  • Ping Gao

    (Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University)

  • Junyi Shen

    (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan)


Overweight and obesity in adult populations is considered to be a growing epidemic worldwide, and appears to be rapidly increasing in China. From 1992 to 2002, the incidence of overweight in adults increased by 39.0%, while that of obesity doubled. To identify the determinants of adult overweight and obesity in China, micro-level data from a questionnaire survey entitled the "Preference Parameters Study," which was conducted by the Global Centers of Excellence program at Osaka University, were analyzed. In addition to the entire sample, data from urban and rural subsamples were also analyzed in order to investigate whether the determinants of overweight and obesity differed. The results suggested that body mass index (BMI) is correlated with subjective well-being, gender, age, labor intensity and drinking and eating habits among urban respondents, and with age, monthly income, number of siblings and eating habits among rural respondents.

Suggested Citation

  • Ping Gao & Junyi Shen, 2016. "An Empirical Analysis on the Determinants of Overweight and Obesity in China," Discussion Paper Series DP2016-12, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
  • Handle: RePEc:kob:dpaper:dp2016-12

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2002. "The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination," Working Papers 0203, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    2. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 93-118, Summer.
    3. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650.
    4. Shinsuke Ikeda & Kang Myong-Il & Fumio Ohtake, 2009. "Fat Debtors: Time Discounting, Its Anomalies, and Body Mass Index," ISER Discussion Paper 0732, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    5. Chou, Shin-Yi & Grossman, Michael & Saffer, Henry, 2004. "An economic analysis of adult obesity: results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 565-587, May.
    6. Aparna Mitra, 2001. "Effects of physical attributes on the wages of males and females," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(11), pages 731-735.
    7. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1998:88:12:1814-1820_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Smith, Patricia K. & Bogin, Barry & Bishai, David, 2005. "Are time preference and body mass index associated?: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 259-270, July.
    9. Charles L. Baum & William F. Ford, 2004. "The wage effects of obesity: a longitudinal study," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(9), pages 885-899.
    10. Gruber, Jonathan & Frakes, Michael, 2006. "Does falling smoking lead to rising obesity?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 183-197, March.
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    More about this item


    Body mass index (BMI); Overweight and obesity; Urban residents; Rural residents; China;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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