The Demography of Obesity

Christine L. Himes

in The Oxford Handbook of the Social Science of Obesity

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199736362
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Demography of Obesity

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  • Health, Education, and Welfare



This chapter addresses the trends in obesity prevalence and its association to those trends. Obesity in childhood is associated with obesity in adulthood. Women are more likely to be obese than men. Understanding the factors affecting the trend among children may shed light on the future rate of obesity growth among the adult population. Obesity is more common in the central and southern parts of the United States while, in general, the northeastern and western states have lower prevalence rates. Some of the studies that highlight a demographic approach to the study of obesity are outlined. Reasons for the increase in obesity range across economic, social, and cultural domains. Some attribute the rise of obesity to changes in food prices or changes in labor-force characteristics. Others look at the influence of social networks, availability of healthy food, and the use of particular food products such as high fructose corn syrup.

Keywords: obesity; childhood; adulthood; gender; demography; food prices; labor force; social networks; healthy food

Article.  5696 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Health, Education, and Welfare

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