Gluttony and Sloth? Calories, Labour Market Activity and the Rise of Obesity

46 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2016

See all articles by Rachel Griffith

Rachel Griffith

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS); University of Manchester; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Rodrigo Lluberas

University of London - Royal Holloway College

Melanie Luhrmann

Royal Holloway, University of London; Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

Date Written: January 2016

Abstract

The rise in obesity has largely been attributed to an increase in calorie consumption. We show that official government household survey data suggest that calories have declined in England from 1980 to 2013; while there has been an increase in calories from food out at restaurants, fast food, soft drinks and confectionery, overall there has been a decrease in total calories purchased. Households have shifted towards more expensive calories, both by substituting away from home production towards market production, and substituting towards higher quality foods. We show that this decline in calories can be rationalised with weight gain by the decline in the strenuousness of work and daily life.

Keywords: nutrition, obesity, time use

JEL Classification: I12

Suggested Citation

Griffith, Rachel and Lluberas, Rodrigo and Luhrmann, Melanie, Gluttony and Sloth? Calories, Labour Market Activity and the Rise of Obesity (January 2016). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP11086. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2726566

Rachel Griffith (Contact Author)

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ( email )

7 Ridgmount Street
London WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom
+44 20 7291 4800 (Phone)
+44 20 7323 4780 (Fax)

University of Manchester ( email )

Arthur Lewis Building
Oxford Road
Manchester, M13 9PL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.ifs.org.uk/people/profile?id=37

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Rodrigo Lluberas

University of London - Royal Holloway College ( email )

Senate House
Malet Street
London, TW20 0EX
United Kingdom

Melanie Luhrmann

Royal Holloway, University of London ( email )

Egham Hill
Egham
Surrey, Surrey TW20 0EX
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/melanieluhrmann/

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ( email )

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
0
Abstract Views
422
PlumX Metrics