NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Effects of Relative Food Prices on Obesity -- Evidence from China: 1991-2006

Yang Lu, Dana Goldman

NBER Working Paper No. 15720
Issued in February 2010, Revised in December 2011
NBER Program(s):   HE

This paper explores the effects of relative food prices on body weight and body fat over time in China. We study a cohort of 15,000 adults from over 200 communities in China, using the longitudinal China Health and Nutrition Survey (1991-2006). While we find that decreases in the price of energy-dense foods have consistently led to elevated body fat, this price effect does not always hold for body weight. These findings suggest that changes in food consumption patterns induced by varying food prices can increase percentage body fat to risky levels even without substantial weight gain. In addition, food prices and subsidies could be used to encourage healthier food consumption patterns and to curb obesity.

download in pdf format
   (326 K)

email paper

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15720

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Grossman, Tekin, and Wada w19143 Food Prices and Body Fatness among Youths
Goldman, Lakdawalla, and Zheng w15096 Food Prices and the Dynamics of Body Weight
Currie, DellaVigna, Moretti, and Pathania w14721 The Effect of Fast Food Restaurants on Obesity and Weight Gain
Baum and Chou w17423 The Socio-Economic Causes of Obesity
Lakdawalla and Philipson w8946 The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us