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date: 20 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the literature on the relationship between poverty and obesity in developed countries, with a focus on studies that are designed to identity causal relationships. In addition to research measuring the reduced-form impact of poverty on obesity, and vice versa, the authors consider studies on the mechanisms underlying this relationship. Based on the available evidence, the authors conclude that obesity increases the likelihood of poverty mainly through labor market discrimination against women. The reasons why poverty causes obesity are more multifaceted and include poor diet, more limited access to healthy food, and certain maternal characteristics commonly found among poor households.

Keywords: poverty, obesity, labor market discrimination, diet, health

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