Cohort Effect and the Impact of Environmental Characteristics on Obesity

Yuval Arbel, Chaim Fialkoff, Amichai Kerner


Obesity and overweight have become the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. They might be affected by a variety of different externalities, such as processed food, traffic noise, and other environmental factors. The objective of the current study is to examine the impact of cohort, gender and environmental characteristics of the residential unit on overweight and obesity. We make use of an extensive and unique set of questions concerning the environmental characteristics of the housing unit asked within the framework of the 2015-2016 longitudinal survey conducted by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) via face-to-face interviews. The survey also includes information regarding the weight, height, gender and age of each household member. The opportunity to use the BMI measure, namely, WEIGHT÷(HEIGHT2), and estimate the probability to become overweight (BMI≥25) provides unique measures of the impacts of environmental externalities. The prominent public policy reprecussion from our study is that a reduction in traffic noise, may improve residents health, as they lead to a decrease in the prbability of overweight for both genders. Further implication is that positive environmental characteristics, particularly, number of exposures in the residential unit, tends to improve significantly the probabity of overweight among women.

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Copyright (c) 2018 Yuval Arbel, Chaim Fialkoff, Amichai Kerner

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Business and Economic Research  ISSN 2162-4860

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