Sustainable Meat Consumption in China
Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2015, 14(6): 1023-1032
Sustainable meat consumption is critical to achieve a sustainable food system because meat products are among the most energy-intensive, ecologically burdensome, and ethically concerned foods. This paper focuses on the case of China and discusses the difficulties and possibilities to achieve sustainable meat consumption in China by reviewing previous empirical studies and descriptive statistics, particularly considering consumers’ dietary transitions in quantity and quality following China’s rapid economic growth. Given China’s sheer size of population and meat demand, the sustainable meat consumption in China is also a relevant topic in the global food system.
When Does Dietary Knowledge Matter to Obesity and Overweight Prevention?
Food Policy, 2013, 38(1): 35-46
Improving dietary knowledge has the potential to prevent obesity and overweight and, if effective, is a highly feasible policy measure. This paper proposes a new framework to examine the effects of dietary knowledge on nutrient intake and diet quality. The framework allows the effects to differ by one's expectation about food availability (EFA). Using data from China, we find that dietary knowledge affects mainly the quantity of diet (e.g., lowering total calorie intake) when EFA is increasing, while it affects mainly the quality of diet (e.g., lowering the share of calories from oils) when EFA is decreasing. The effect on the quantity is larger among overweight adults, while the effect on the quality is more significant among non-overweight adults. Without distinguishing the direction of changes in EFA as in previous studies, the estimated effects of dietary knowledge tend to be smaller. Thus, as an anti-obesity measure, dietary education may be more effective than indicated by previous studies under the situations where EFA increases (e.g., introducing food coupons), while only marginally effective under the situations where EFA decreases (e.g., increasing real food prices).
Asymmetric Intra-household Allocation of Calories in China
American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 2010, 92(3): 873-888
To analyze intra-household calorie allocation, we propose a new framework that takes into account asymmetric consumption behavior due to liquidity constraints and loss aversion. We find that intra-household calorie allocation responds asymmetrically to expected declines and increases in household food availability in China. Compared to previous studies based on symmetric consumption behavior, our framework provides stronger evidence of gender bias in intra-household calorie allocation among children in urban areas and among elderly people in rural areas, and of demographic bias between girls and prime-age adults in both urban and rural areas. Implications for demographic targeting in nutrition programs are discussed.
Nutrient Intake of the Poor and Its Implications for the Nutritional Effect of Cereal Price Subsidies: Evidence from China
World Development, 2010, 38(7): 1001-1011
We incorporate habit formation into an analysis of the effect of cereal price changes on the nutrient intake of the poor in China. We find that the poor’s nutrient intake responds asymmetrically to declines and increases in cereal prices, and that the asymmetric response of their fat intake may be due to habit formation. Our results also imply that introducing cereal price subsidies can increase their total energy intake by increasing their calorie intake from fat and protein, while ending such subsidies would insignificantly affect their total energy intake, but further increase their calorie intake from fat and protein.
Understanding the Differences in Obesity among Working Adults between Taiwan and China
Satoru Shimokawa, Hung-Hao Chang, Per Pinstrup-Andersen
Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2009, 18(1): 88-95
We investigate the difference in the prevalence of obesity and the associations between the risk of obesity and socioeconomic factors for 20-60-year-old working adults in China and Taiwan, using the 2000 China Health and Nutrition Survey and the 2001 National Health Interview Survey in Taiwan. In China, the prevalence of obesity was higher in the higher income, more educated, and more sedentary occupation groups, while it was higher in the lower income and less educated groups in Taiwan. Also, our probit regression results indicate that occupational types rather than income and education levels are more significantly associated with obesity risk in China, whereas income and education levels rather than occupational types are more significantly associated with obesity risk in Taiwan. These findings may indicate that, when an economy becomes more developed, obesity risk becomes more associated with income and education levels especially among women, while the association between obesity risk and occupational types decreases especially among men.
Do Poverty and Poor Health and Nutrition Increase the Risk of Armed Conflict Onset?
Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Satoru Shimokawa
Food Policy, 2008, 33(6): 513-520
We analyze the effects of improving the economic, food security and health status on the risk of armed cotntectflict onset, focusing on the factors related to the millennium development goals. We employ the discrete-time hazard model that allows us to examine the time-varying effects of socioeconomic factors controlling for the reverse effect of conflict. Our results show that income poverty and poor health and nutritional status are more significantly associated with armed conflict onset than GDP per capita, annual GDP growth, and the ratio of primary commodity exports over GDP. In particular, poor health and nutritional status seems to play a key role in inducing armed conflicts in poor countries. These results indicate that, when a majority of the poor and the malnourished resides in rural areas and depends on agriculture directly or indirectly, investments in public goods for agriculture and rural areas can be effective tools to achieve the multiple goals of reduced poverty, food insecurity and armed conflict, including riots in early 2008 triggered by high food prices. Food policy can be an effective element of efforts to maintain stability.
The Labor Market Impact of Body Weight in China: A Semiparametric Analysis
Applied Economics, 2008, 40(8): 949-968
While several studies have found a negative effect of obesity on wages in high-income countries, the existing literature has seldom examined the effect in low and middle-income countries. This paper investigates the relationship between body weight and wages in China during 1991-2000 when a rapid increase in overweight and obesity was observed. Following the existing literature, we first use several parametric regression strategies to obtain a consistent estimate of the wage effects of weight. Second, we adopt a semiparametric partially linear model that allows for endogeneity of weight. Parametric regressions provide mixed results, and the sign and magnitude of their estimates are sensitive to the choice of samples and regression strategies. In semiparametric estimates, we find evidence of a wage penalty for very heavy and thin persons among both men and women. While this result is similar to that for high-income countries, it is different in the respect that the wage effects of weight in China are more significant among men than among women. Semiparametric results also indicate that parametric estimates can overstate and misrepresent the wage effects of weight, especially for healthy weight persons, due to their restrictive functional form specifications.
Steve Wiggins, Sharada Keats, Euna Han, Satoru Shimokawa, Joel Alberto Vargas Hernandez, and Rafael Moreira Claro.
2015Research Reports and Studies, Overseas Development Institute.
Rural Infrastructure and Agricultural Development
Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Satoru Shimokawa
F. Bourguignon and B. Pleskovic (Eds.)
Rethinking Infrastructure for Development (Annual World Bank Conference on Development Economics)
2007, pp. 175-204