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Insecurity, Inequality, and Obesity in Affluent Societies$
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Avner Offer, Rachel Pechey, and Stanley Ulijaszek

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264980

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264980.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Obesity under Affluence Varies by Welfare Regimes

Obesity under Affluence Varies by Welfare Regimes

(p.199) Chapter 11 Obesity under Affluence Varies by Welfare Regimes
Insecurity, Inequality, and Obesity in Affluent Societies

Avner Offer

Rachel Pechey

Stanley Ulijaszek

British Academy

Among affluent countries, those with market-liberal regimes (which are also English-speaking) tend to have the highest prevalence of obesity. The impact of cheap, accessible high-energy food is often invoked in explanation. An alternative approach is that overeating is a response to stress, and that competition, uncertainty and inequality make market-liberal societies more stressful. This chapter reports an ecological regression meta-study that pools 96 surveys from 11 countries, using data collected in the years 1994 to 2004. The fast-food ‘shock’ impact is found to work most strongly in market-liberal countries. Economic insecurity, measured in several different ways, is almost twice as powerful, while the impact of inequality is weak.

Keywords:   obesity, affluent countries, market-liberal regimes, English-speaking regimes, high-energy food, ecological regression, fast food, economic insecurity, inequality

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