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Artigos para gordos

Eis dois artigos de Thomas Stratmann sobre o tema “obesidade”. Seguem os “abstracts”.

O primeiro, sobre preços relativos:

Americans have been getting fatter since at least the mid 1980s. To better understand this public health problem, much attention has been devoted to determining the underlying cause of increasing body weights in the U.S. We examine the role of relative food prices in determining an individual’s body mass index, arguing that as healthful foods become more expensive relative to unhealthful foods, individuals substitute to a less healthful diet. Using data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for the period 1982-1996, we find that individual BMI measures, as well as the likelihood of being overweight or obese, exhibit a statistically significant positive correlation with the prices of healthful relative to unhealthful foods. These results are robust to endogenizing the relative price measure. While the magnitudes of our estimates suggest that relative price changes can only explain about 1 percent of the growth in BMI and the incidence of being overweight or obese over this period, they do provide some measure of how effective fat taxes would be in controlling the obesity epidemic. Our estimates imply, for example, that a 100 percent tax on unhealthful foods could reduce average BMI by about 1 percent, and the same tax could reduce the incidence of being overweight and the incidence of obesity by 2 percent and 1 percent respectively.

O segundo, sobre o impacto do SPA na obesidade:

The health benefits of spas have been hypothesized for centuries. If this hypothesis is correct, spa therapy offers a low cost alternative to more expensive and potentially more invasive medical treatments for ailments such as back pain and arthritis. We use individual-level panel data to isolate the effect of spa therapy on missed work days and hospital visits in Germany. Simple correlations suggest a self-selection bias – spa visits are associated with increased absenteeism and hospitalization. However, when we exploit the longitudinal nature of the data, we find that spa therapy leads to a statistically significant reduction in both absenteeism and hospitalization, though it is not clear if these health benefits justify the cost of spa therapy.

Claudio

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