OECD Health Working Papers

1815-2015 (online)
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This series is designed to make available to a wider readership health studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.

Improving Lifestyles, Tackling Obesity: The Health and Economic Impact of Prevention Strategies You or your institution have access to this content

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Franco Sassi1, Michele Cecchini, Jeremy Lauer2, Dan Chisholm2
Author Affiliations
  • 1: OECD, France

  • 2: World Health Organisation, Switzerland

20 Nov 2009
Bibliographic information

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Overweight and obesity rates have been increasing relentlessly over recent decades in all industrialised countries, as well as in many lower income countries. OECD analyses of trends over time support the grim picture drawn in the international literature and so do projections of overweight and obesity rates over the next ten years. The circumstances in which people have been leading their lives over the past 20-30 years, including physical, social and economic environments, have exerted powerful influences on their overall calorie intake, on the composition of their diets and on the frequency and intensity of physical activity at work, at home and during leisure time. Many countries have been concerned not only about the pace of the increase in overweight and obesity, but also about inequalities in their distribution across social groups, particularly by socio-economic status and by ethnic background.
JEL Classification:
  • D61: Microeconomics / Welfare Economics / Allocative Efficiency ; Cost–Benefit Analysis
  • D63: Microeconomics / Welfare Economics / Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
  • H51: Public Economics / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies / Government Expenditures and Health
  • I12: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Health Behavior
  • I18: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Government Policy ; Regulation ; Public Health
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