Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis



Thesis Type

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

Nathalie Mathieu-Bolh


Economics, obesity, macroeconomics, health economics, weight, COVID-19


The empirical evidence shows a positive relationship between income and obesity, but it lacks evidence of a dynamic relationship between income growth and the rise in obesity. This thesis attempts to explain the rise in obesity over time. I simulate the neoclassical growth model by Ramsey (1928), Cass (1965), and Koopmans (1965) (RCK) augmented with the Schofield (1985) equation to connect income growth to a rise in obesity prevalence. I then select economies from across the globe. There are three main results of my work. All studied countries are expected to reach a long run average BMI corresponding to overweightness (>25) or obesity (>30), except for Thailand. Some selected countries reach an average BMI that is overweight (Egypt, Turkey) or obese (Turkey) faster than other selected countries depending on their per capita income levels and growth rates. While there is a diminishing influence of income growth on body weight gain as a country develops, the effect of income growth on body weight is larger in rich than in poor countries.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.