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Economics of Obesity

Despite a substantial growth in research and policy initiatives in the last two decades, obesity levels continue to increase globally. This is one of the most significant global challenges of modern times causing huge economic and societal burden.  

In this changing world, what role can economists play?  Can we use economic tools to help explain individual and market behaviour, and use this information to formulate policy that will actually make a difference?  Can we help evaluate suggested interventions providing much needed information on value for money?  Can we offer a system-wide analysis to help understand policy impact – recognising the distinctive context of different countries? 

What is the Economics of Obesity Special Interest Group?

The EOSIG brings together iHEA members who are working in obesity to develop an understanding of obesity from an economics perspective. The group gather and share knowledge and build capacity working in this area. Our aim is to work together to enhance the profile of economics in obesity research.   We forge links between individuals and groups with an interest in obesity from diverse country contexts and, where appropriate, provide input to policy development at an international level.

EOSIG Objectives

Our overall purpose is to bring together members of iHEA with an interest in issues related to the economics of obesity.

The group works together to:

  • Enhance our understanding of the prevention and treatment of obesity from an economics perspective;
  • Connect economists working in obesity from across the world;
  • Share knowledge and provide support through the creation of a community of economists working together;
  • Establish and maintain a database of existing projects that are about enhancing our understanding of obesity from an economics perspective;
  • Host pre-congress and/or special organised sessions at iHEA Congress meetings that are about sharing knowledge and creating a research environment that are supportive and focused on increasing research knowledge and capacity;
  • Offer shared mentorship and support for students and early career researchers working across different country contexts;
  • Host international workshops to connect researchers; and
  • Provide input to policy development at an international level.

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The International Health Economics Association was formed to increase communication among health economists, foster a higher standard of debate in the application of economics to health and health care systems, and assist young researchers at the start of their careers.

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