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Journal Article

Obesity, unhappiness, and 'The challenge of affluence': theory and evidence [Book review feature...of 'The challenge of affluence: self-control and well-being in the United States and Britain since 1950', by Avner Offer]

Authors

Publication date

2007

Abstract

Is affluence a good thing? The book The Challenge of Affluence by Avner Offer (2006) argues that economic prosperity weakens self-control and undermines human well-being. Consistent with a pessimistic view, we show that psychological distress has been rising through time in modern Great Britain. Taking over-eating as an example, our data reveal that half the British population view themselves as overweight, and that happiness and mental health are worse among fatter people in Britain and Germany. Comparisons also matter. We discuss problems of inference and argue that longitudinal data are needed. We suggest a theory of obesity imitation where utility depends on relative weight.

Published in

Economic Journal

Volume

117 (521):441-454

Subjects

Economics, Well Being, and Health

Links

http://serlib0.essex.ac.uk/search?/seconomic+journal/seconomic+journal/1%2C2%2C3%2CB/exact&FF=seconomic+journal&1%2C2%2C/indexsort=-

Notes

Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to Univ. Essex registered users*

#509183


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