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Economic Aspects of Obesity

In the past three decades, the number of obese adults in the United States has doubled and the number of obese children almost tripled, which may lead to increased medical expenditures, productivity loss, and stress on the health care system. Economic analysis now shows that weight gain is the result of individual choices in response to economic environments and demonstrates that incentives can influence individual behaviors affecting weight. Determinants are varied and include year- and area-specific food prices, availability of food outlets and recreational facilities, health insurance, and minimum wage levels. Timely and important, Economic Aspects of Obesity provides a strong foundation for evaluating the costs and benefits of various proposals designed to control obesity rates.

408 pages | 4 halftones, 30 line drawings, 98 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2011

National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report

Economics and Business: Health Economics

Sociology: Sociology--Marriage and Family

Table of Contents


Michael Grossman and Naci Mocan

1. The Impact of Minimum Wage Rates on Body Weight in the United States
David O. Meltzer and Zhuo Chen

2. Does Health Insurance Make You Fat?
Jay Bhattacharya, M. Kate Bundorf, Noemi Pace, and Neeraj Sood

3. Food Prices and the Dynamics of Body Weight
Dana Goldman, Darius Lakdawalla, and Yuhui Zheng

4. Outcomes in a Program that Offers Financial Rewards for Weight Loss
John Cawley and Joshua A. Price

5. Economic Contextual Factors and Child Body Mass Index
Lisa M. Powell and Frank J. Chaloupka

6. The Relationship between Perceptions of Neighborhood Characteristics and Obesity among Children
Bisakha Sen, Stephen Mennemeyer, and Lisa C. Gary

7. Studying the Child Obesity Epidemic with Natural Experiments
Robert Sandy, Gilbert Liu, John Ottensmann, Rusty Tchernis, Jeff Wilson, and O. T. Ford

8. Food Stamp Program and Consumption Choices
Neeraj Kaushal and Qin Gao

9. Physical Activity: Economic and Policy Factors
Melayne M. McInnes and Judith A. Shinogle

10. Effects of Weight on Adolescent Educational Attainment
Robert Kaestner, Michael Grossman, and Benjamin Yarnoff

11. Where Does the Wage Penalty Bite?
Christian A. Gregory and Christopher J. Ruhm

12. Obesity, Self- Esteem, and Wages
Naci Mocan and Erdal Tekin

Author Index
Subject Index

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