The Long-Run Growth in Obesity as a Function of Technological Change
This paper analyzes the factors contributing to the worldwide long-run rise in obesity and the effects of public interventions on its continued growth. The growth of obesity in a population results from an increase in calorie consumption relative to physical activity. Yet in developed countries, obesity has grown with modest rises in calorie consumption and with a substantial increase in both dieting and recreational exercise. We consider the economic incentives that give rise to a growth in obesity by stimulating intake of calories while discouraging the expending of calories on physical activity. We argue that technological change provides a natural interpretation of the long-run growth in obesity despite a rise in dieting and exercise, that it predicts that the effect of income on obesity falls with economic development, and that it implies that the growth in obesity may be self-limiting.
|Date of creation:||Nov 1999|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Philipson, T., and R. Posner. “The Long Run Growth of Obesity as a Function of Technological Change." Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 46, 3 (Summer 2003): 87-108.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Rodolfo Nayga, 1997. "Obesity and heart disease awareness: a note on the impact of consumer characteristics using qualitative choice analysis," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(4), pages 229-231.
- Arthur, W B, 1981. "The Economics of Risks to Life," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(1), pages 54-64, March.
- Jeff E. Biddle & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1995.
"Beauty, Productivity and Discrimination: Lawyers' Looks and Lucre,"
NBER Working Papers
5366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Biddle, Jeff E & Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1998. "Beauty, Productivity, and Discrimination: Lawyers' Looks and Lucre," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 172-201, January.
- Susan Averett & Sanders Korenman, 1993.
"The Economic Reality of the Beauty Myth,"
NBER Working Papers
4521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ippolito, Pauline M & Mathios, Alan D, 1995. "Information and Advertising: The Case of Fat Consumption in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 91-95, May.
- Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1, September.
- Tomas J. Philipson & Gary S. Becker, 1998. "Old-Age Longevity and Mortality-Contingent Claims," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 551-573, June.
- Ehrlich, Isaac & Chuma, Hiroyuki, 1990. "A Model of the Demand for Longevity and the Value of Life Extension," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 761-82, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7423. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.