Fat Economics: Nutrition, Health, and Economic Policy

Paperback | April 26, 2009

byMario Mazzocchi, W. Bruce Traill, Jason F. Shogren

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The obesity epidemic and the growing debate about what, if any, public health policy should be adopted is the subject of endless debates within the media and in governments around the world. Whilst much has been written on the subject, this book takes a unique approach by looking at theobesity epidemic from an economic perspective. Written in a language accessible to non-specialists, the authors provide a timely discussion of evolving nutrition policies in both the developing and developed world, discuss the factors influencing supply and demand of food supply, and review theevidence for various factors which may explain recent trends in diets, weight, and health.The traditional economic model assumes people choose to be overweight as part of a utility maximisation process that involves choices about what to eat and drink, how much time to spend on leisure, food preparation, and exercise, and choices about appearance and health. Market and behaviouralfailures, however, such as time available to a person, education, costs imposed on the health system and economic productivity provide the economic rationale for government intervention. The authors explore various policy measures designed to deal with the epidemic and examine their effectivenesswithin a cost-benefit analysis framework. While providing a sound economic basis for analysing policy decisions, the book also aims to show the underlying limits of the economic framework in quantifying changes in public well-being.

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The obesity epidemic and the growing debate about what, if any, public health policy should be adopted is the subject of endless debates within the media and in governments around the world. Whilst much has been written on the subject, this book takes a unique approach by looking at theobesity epidemic from an economic perspective. Wr...

Mario Mazzocchi is currently a lecturer in Economic Policy at the University of Bologna. From 2002 to 2005 he taught consumer behaviour and marketing research methods at the University of Reading. He holds a degree in statistics (University of Bologna) and a PhD in Food Economics and Policy (University of Siena). His research focuses ...

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Kobo ebook|May 22 2008

$64.69 online$83.99list price(save 22%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.47 inPublished:April 26, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199213860

ISBN - 13:9780199213863

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Table of Contents

1. The Obesity EpidemicThe "Epidemic" in ContextWhy are People Eating More? The Need to Understand Behavior as well as BiologyWhat Does This Have to Do With Governments?Conclusions2. Why Obesity? An Economic PerspectiveIs Obesity a Failure of the Market Economy?Consumer Decision MakingMarket Exchange: InformationObesity in Developing CountriesChildren and FamiliesConclusion: The Economics of Obesity3. Economic Evaluation Tools for Evidence-based Policy MakingMeasures of the Direct and Indirect Costs to Society of ObesityEvidence-based Interventions and their CostsConclusion: The Economic Burden of Obesity4. Policy InterventionInformation MeasuresMarket MeasuresConclusions6. Concluding Fat EconomicsGlossary