An Empirical Analysis on the Determinants of Overweight and Obesity in China


Overweight and obesity in adult populations is considered to be a growing epidemic worldwide, and appears to be rapidly increasing in China. From 1992 to 2002, the incidence of overweight in adults increased by 39.0%, while that of obesity doubled. To identify the determinants of adult overweight and obesity in China, micro-level data from a questionnaire survey entitled the "Preference Parameters Study," which was conducted by the Global Centers of Excellence program at Osaka University, were analyzed. In addition to the entire sample, data from urban and rural subsamples were also analyzed in order to investigate whether the determinants of overweight and obesity differed. The results suggested that body mass index (BMI) is correlated with subjective well-being, gender, age, labor intensity and drinking and eating habits among urban respondents, and with age, monthly income, number of siblings and eating habits among rural respondents.


Body mass index (BMI), Overweight and obesity, Urban residents, Rural residents, China

JEL Classification

C21, D12, I12


Ping GAO
Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University

Junyi SHEN
Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration,
Kobe University
Rokkodai-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe
657-8501 Japan
Phone: +81-78-803-7036
FAX: +81-78-803-7059
School of Economics, Shanghai University, China