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Abstract

Obesity constitutes an important public policy issue since it causes external costs to society through increased healthcare costs borne by taxpayers. This study employed random and fixed effects estimations and spatial autoregressive approaches under a panel data structure to unravel possible socioeconomic and built environment factors contributing to obesity. Though there is no statistical evidence for time invariant fixed effects, empirical evidence shows that obesity is a spatially non-random event. Educational attainment that raises both human and social capital as well as changes in the built environment could play a vital role in controlling obesity.

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