Economic Aspects of Obesity

Economic Aspects of Obesity

Michael Grossman and Naci Mocan

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226310091

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


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. This book aims to provide foundation for evaluating the costs and benefits of various proposals designed to control obesity rates.

Table of Contents


Michael Grossman and Naci Mocan

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

5 Economie Contextual Factors and Child Body Mass Index

Lisa M. Powell and Frank J. Chaloupka

7 Studying the Child Obesity Epidemic with Natural Experiments

Robert Sandy, Gilbert Liu, John Ottensmann, Rusty Tchernis, Jeff Wilson, and O. T. Ford

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 Ruhm

12 Obesity, Self-Eesteem, and Wages

Naci Mocan and Erdal Tekin