The Conflicting Effect of Obesity and Undernourishment on Average Life Expectancy

Sangeeta Bansal, Shivani Gupta, Jacob Lefler, and David Zilberman

from ARE Update Vol. 23, No. 6, Jul/Aug, 2020

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Abstract

There is a growing concern regarding the health effects of increasing global obesity rates, and micro-level studies demonstrate that obesity reduces life expectancy. We conducted a macro study at the country level relating average life expectancy with obesity rates and other factors. Our analysis suggests that increased obesity prevalence may increase life expectancy when obesity rates are low and malnutrition is significant. Our results also suggest that higher obesity rates increase life expectancy in developing countries, but reduce life expectancy in some developed countries, such as the U.S., which suffer from high obesity rates.

Keywords

United States, medical expenditure, gender, macro, micro, malnourishment, BMI

Citation

Sangeeta Bansal, Shivani Gupta, Jacob Lefler, and David Zilberman. "The Conflicting Effect of Obesity and Undernourishment on Average Life Expectancy." ARE Update 23(6)(2020):1-4. University of California Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics.
https://giannini.ucop.edu/publications/are-update/issues/2020/23/6/the-conflicting-effect-of-obesity-and-undernourish/