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What lies behind socio-economic inequalities in obesity in Spain: a decomposition approach

By Joan Costa-i-Font and J. Gil


The expansion of obesity stands as a major food related health concern arguably driven by a socio-economic vector. However, alongside its prevalence, still scant evidence has examined on the underlying factors that explain the emergence socio-economic inequalities in obesity. This paper makes use of evidence form Spain to empirically address the hypothesis of the existence of income-related inequalities in the probability of suffering obesity in Spain using data from 2003. Besides quantifying inequalities, we take advantage of a concentration index methodology that allows a decomposition of the cross-section explanatory factors. Our findings provide suggestive evidence of significant socio-economic inequalities in the probability of being obese in Spain. However, in decomposing such inequalities we find that education attainment and other demographic covariates appear to have a prominent influence. Hence, rather than the so-called pure “income effect”, we conclude that socio-economic inequalities in obesity result from the additional influence of other confounding – observed and unobserved-effects

Topics: HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2007.05.005
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Provided by: LSE Research Online
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