Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Life Cycle Development of Obesity and Its Determinants

Research output: Working paperResearch

Documents

  • Sandra Cavaco, LEM, Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris 2), France
  • Tor Eriksson
  • Ali Skalli , LEM, Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris 2), France
  • Department of Economics
  • Center for Corporate Performance (CCP)
This paper is concerned with how obesity and some of its determinants develop over individuals’ life cycles. In particular we examine empirically the role and relative importance of early life conditions (parents’ education and socioeconomic status) and individuals’ own education as adults and how their impacts on the probability of overweight and obesity evolves over the life cycle. As the data set includes information about the individuals’ health behaviours (smoking and physical exercise) at various ages we can also examine the impact of these at different stages of the persons’ life cycle.

The data used in the empirical analysis is from a common detailed questionnaire study carried out in six different European countries (Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, the Netherlands and the U.K.) and which was answered by about 6,000 individuals aged 50 to 65 at the time of the survey. Obesity indicators are constructed from information collected in the survey regarding individuals’ height and weight at different ages (25, 25, 45 and current age). We perform two types of econometric analyses on data for all countries: a “repeated cross-sections” analysis where each cross-section refers to the individual’s situation at a certain age and a random effects dynamic probit analysis of the individuals’ obesity histories.

Key findings are: (i) controlling for parental and childhood factors, health behaviour and socioeconomic status affect country differences in overweight and obesity only marginally, (ii) parents’ socioeconomic status predicts obesity in early adulthood whereas individuals’ own socioeconomic status as adults is more important in explaining obesity at later stages of the life cycle, and (iii) changes in obesity status are associated with changes in health behaviours.
Original languageEnglish
Place of publicationAarhus
PublisherDepartment of Economics, University of Aarhus
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)9788778825346
ISBN (Electronic)9788778825353
Publication statusPublished - 2011

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 36845802