Diet, Body Mass Index, Physical Activity and the Education Connection among Adults in China

Zhehui Luo, Michigan State University

Evidence of increasing obesity and poor diet among low socioeconomic status groups in developing countries is found in the literature. However, the connection between education and obesity and diet patterns is not well understood. Our analysis is rooted in a first order dynamic health production model using body mass index as gauge for health outcome and the balance between macronutrient consumption and physical activity as measures of production input. We use data for adults in the 1991, 1993, 1997 and 2000 China Health and Nutrition Survey as an application, focusing on comparison of parameters for education across equations for BMI, nutrient inputs and physical activities, between men and women, urban and rural areas. The reduced form analysis reveals important associations between socioeconomic factors and health output and input, as well as changes of such associations over time.

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Presented in Session 65: Population and the Nutritional Transition