Economic Aspects and Implications of Obesity

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Peter Lang, 2009 - Business & Economics - 273 pages
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This book is concerned with the economic consequences of the rising obesity prevalence in affluent societies. A microeconomic model describing food consumption from the perspective of the individual consumer is developed. To maximise utility over lifetime, the marginal costs of food consumption must be adapted to the level of prices and to variations in the metabolic rate. This result holds independently of the weight status category and of the level of health-consciousness. Furthermore, extensions relevant to food overconsumption are introduced: The influence of diet composition and the rate of time preference, as well as the incorporation of addictive aspects and dynamic inconsistency. The theoretical framework is substantiated with an empirical analysis, and the implications for health insurance schemes – namely the differentiation of premiums by risk – are discussed.
 

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Contents

Introduction
17
Concept and Causes of Obesity
23
The Consequences of Obesity
33
Pure Public vs Pure Private Good
48
CharacteristicsPreferences Matrix Food Nonfood
61
Obesity from a Microeconomic Perspective
65
Solution of the Static Model HealthIndependent Income
75
Empirical Analysis
125
Consequences for Insurance Design
165
The Probability of Illness as a Function of Preventive
171
Conclusion
181
Appendix
187
Descriptive Statistics of the Basic BRFSS 2007 Sample
211
Reporting Error
218
Descriptive Statistics of the BRFSS 2007 Sample by Gender
224
References
253

Summary of Results
163

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About the author (2009)

The Author: Elise Hefti studied economics at the University of Hamburg from 1999-2005. She received her Ph.D. in 2009.

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