The CPC Seminar Series takes place between October and June, all seminars are free to attend and no registration is required. If you would like to present please contact

Obesity in developing countries: what do we learn from 244 Demographic and Health Surveys?

6th March 2012 3pm, University of Southampton 58/1039

Marc Suhrcke, University of East Anglia

A joint CPC and Population Health University Strategic Research Group seminar.

Obesity and overweight are spreading fast in developing countries, and has reached world record levels in some of them. Precisely capturing the size, patterns and trends of the problem has, however, been severely hampered by the lack of comparable micro data in low and middle income countries. To overcome this deficit we use the wealth of 244 Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) for 56 countries over the years 1991-2008. The DHS data has so far primarily been used to measure traditional health problems in developing countries, e.g. HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other nutritional deficiencies. We use the data to establish selected stylized facts about overweight and obesity and to examine a number of widely held notions that have hiterto typically not been submitted to empirical scrutiny.