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Obesity, Affluence and Urbanisation in India


  • Raghav Gaiha
  • Raghbendra Jha


  • Vani S. Kulkarni


Based on data collected from a representative national sample, India Human Development Survey 2005, this paper investigates the links between obesity among children and among adults with a number of socio economic characteristics as well as household and location specific variables. Both child and adult obesity are far from negligible, which is a matter of concern, given the links between obesity and some diseases. There are strong links between socio-economic indicators and risk of obesity. In particular, affluence has a robust link to obesity. Among children, taller children in more affluent households are more prone to obesity. Some demographic characteristics matter too, for example, both child and adult obesity rise with age but at a diminishing rate. Location also influences chances of obesity. Relative food price effects matter too through calorie, protein, fat and other nutrient intakes. A number of policy conclusions are also advanced.

Suggested Citation

  • Raghav Gaiha & Raghbendra Jha & Vani S. Kulkarni, 2010. "Obesity, Affluence and Urbanisation in India," ASARC Working Papers 2010-10, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
  • Handle: RePEc:pas:asarcc:2010-10

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Prema-chandra Athukorala, 2009. "Trends and Patterns of Foreign Direct Investments In Asia: A Comparative Perspective," Departmental Working Papers 2009-08, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
    2. Kimura, Hidemi & Todo, Yasuyuki, 2010. "Is Foreign Aid a Vanguard of Foreign Direct Investment? A Gravity-Equation Approach," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 482-497, April.
    3. Ewe-Ghee Lim, 2001. "Determinants of, and the Relation Between, Foreign Direct Investment and Growth; A Summary of the Recent Literature," IMF Working Papers 01/175, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Kinda, Tidiane, 2010. "Investment Climate and FDI in Developing Countries: Firm-Level Evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 498-513, April.
    5. Crespo, Nuno & Fontoura, Maria Paula, 2007. "Determinant Factors of FDI Spillovers - What Do We Really Know?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 410-425, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Römling, Cornelia & Qaim, Matin, 2011. "Direct and Indirect Determinants of Obesity: The Case of Indonesia," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 70, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    2. Dodd, Warren & King, Nia & Humphries, Sally & Little, Matthew & Dewey, Cate, 2016. "Self-reported morbidity and health service utilization in rural Tamil Nadu, India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 118-125.
    3. Romling, Cornelia & Qaim, Matin, 2011. "Direct and Indirect Determinants of Obesity: The Case of Indonesia," Discussion Papers 108350, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    4. Sengupta, Angan & Angeli, Federica & Syamala, Thelakkat S. & Dagnelie, Pieter C. & Schayck, C.P. van, 2015. "Overweight and obesity prevalence among Indian women by place of residence and socio-economic status: Contrasting patterns from ‘underweight states’ and ‘overweight states’ of India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 161-169.
    5. repec:zbw:gdec11:aglobalfooddiscussionpapersx4 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    obesity; affluence; socio-economic characteristics; gender; India;

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E10 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - General

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