Economic Growth and Obesity: Findings of an Obesity Kuznets Curve

12 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2014

See all articles by Anca Cotet Grecu

Anca Cotet Grecu

Seton Hall University

Kurt W. Rotthoff

Seton Hall University - W. Paul Stillman School of Business

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

Simon Kuznets’ (1955) hypothesis that as a country develops, a natural cycle develops where inequality first increases, then decreases, has become known at the Kuznets curve. This pattern has also been applied to the environment, an ‘Environmental Kuznets curve’, showing that as development occurs, pollution first increase; then decreases because people value clean air. We expand the Kuznets curve to an ‘Obesity Kuznets curve’; as incomes rise, resources become available to buy more food. As such, people consume more calories and obesity rates increase. However, as incomes continue to rise, personal health becomes a more valued asset and people decrease their obesity levels (increasing their health levels). We find evidence of an Obesity Kuznets curve for white females. In addition we find that as income inequality increases obesity rates fall.

Keywords: Obesity, Kutznets Curve, Body Mass Index, Health Outcomes

JEL Classification: I1, D1

Suggested Citation

Cotet Grecu, Anca and Rotthoff, Kurt W., Economic Growth and Obesity: Findings of an Obesity Kuznets Curve (2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2375523 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2375523

Anca Cotet Grecu

Seton Hall University ( email )

400 S Orange Avenue
South Orange, NJ 07079
United States

Kurt W. Rotthoff (Contact Author)

Seton Hall University - W. Paul Stillman School of Business ( email )

400 S Orange Avenue
JH 674
South Orange, NJ 07079
United States
973-761-9102 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://pirate.shu.edu/~rotthoku/

Do you want regular updates from SSRN on Twitter?

Paper statistics

Downloads
216
Abstract Views
1,064
rank
192,559
PlumX Metrics