Does health care expenditure counter adverse effects of obesity on health: Evidence from global data

There is evidence that obesity is a risk to health and longevity of life. This is the first paper to use cross-country data to analyze the effect of obesity levels on life expectancy, and the trade-off between health expenditure and obesity levels. It uses a panel data of 194 countries for the years 2002, 2005 and 2010. We find that life expectancy has non-monotonic relationship with obesity levels. At low prevalence of obesity, life expectancy is increasing in obesity levels, but beyond a certain threshold level of obesity prevalence, an increase in obesity level reduces life expectancy. Countries that spend more on health expenditure are able to counter the effects of increased obesity on life expectancy. Incremental effect of health expenditure in enhancing life expectancy is higher for countries where obesity prevalence is low. The impact of health expenditure on increasing life expectancy is higher for women. The results are consistent over three data sets: when the health indicator is life expectancy at birth, mortality rate between age group 15-60 years, and healthy life expectancy.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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