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'Globesity'? The effects of globalization on obesity and caloric intake

Costa-Font, Joan ORCID: 0000-0001-7174-7919 and Mas, Núria (2016) 'Globesity'? The effects of globalization on obesity and caloric intake. Food Policy, 64. pp. 121-132. ISSN 0306-9192

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2016.10.001


We examine the effect of globalization, in its economic and social dimensions, on obesity and caloric intake, namely the so –called ‘globesity’ hypothesis. Our results suggest a robust association between globalization and both obesity and caloric intake. A one standard deviation increase in globalization is associated with a 23.8 percent increase in obese population and a 4.3 percent rise in calorie intake. The effect remains statistically significant even with an instrumental variable strategy to correct for some possible reverse causality, a lagged structure, and corrections for panel standard errors. However, we find that the primary driver is ‘social’ rather than ‘economic’ globalization effects, and specifically the effects of changes in ‘information flows’ and ‘social proximity’ on obesity. A one standard deviation increase in social globalization increased the percentage of obese population by 13.7 percent.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 Elsevier
Divisions: LSE
Health Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
JEL classification: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I18 - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
P - Economic Systems > P4 - Other Economic Systems > P46 - Consumer Economics; Welfare and Poverty
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2016 16:54
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:25

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