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Globesity: is globalization a pathway to obesity?

Costa-i-Font, Joan ORCID: 0000-0001-7174-7919, Mas, Núria and Navarro, Patricia (2013) Globesity: is globalization a pathway to obesity? LSE Health working paper series in health policy and economics (31/2013). LSE Health and Social Care, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Obesity has risen dramatically at the same time as globalization has surged, which poses the question of whether the two are related. In this paper we analyze whether empirical evidence confirms the association between the different types of globalization (economic, political or social) and obesity using data from 15 up to 23 different countries for up to 15 years, as well as three primary outcomes: obesity, caloric intake and grams of fat consumed and a set of controls for micro-mechanisms that have been found to affect obesity in the economic and health literature. Our results are suggestive of a robust association between globalization and obesity, caloric intake and grams from fat consumed. Once we control for indirect micromechanisms associated with globalization such as food prices, female labor market participation, as well as urbanization and income, the direct impact of economic globalization is not significant, whilst ‘social globalization’ remains as a having robust and strong effect on the three measures of obesity. A one standard deviation increase in the index of social globalization from the Swiss federal institute of technology Zurich (KOF index) implies a rise of 3 percentage points in the proportion of obese population. It leads to a rise of 217 kcal and of 23.1 grams of fat consumed, respectively. Urbanization has a negative impact on the consumption of fat and caloric intake, while female labor force participation has a positive relationship with the three obesity outcomes.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 The Authors
Divisions: European Institute
Social Policy
Centre for Economic Performance
LSE Health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Sets: Departments > European Institute
Departments > Social Policy
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Research centres and groups > LSE Health
Collections > LSE Health Working Paper Series in Health Policy and Economics
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2013 11:18
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2020 00:52

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