Do political factors matter in explaining under- and overweight outcomes in developing countries?

Elena Fumagalli, Emmanouil Mentzakis, Marc Suhrcke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


We construct a rich dataset covering 47 developing countries over the years 1990–2007, combining several micro and macro level data sources to explore the link between political factors and body mass index (BMI). We implement a heteroskedastic generalized ordered logit model allowing for different covariate effects across the BMI distribution and accounting for the unequal BMI dispersion by geographical area. We find that systems with democratic qualities are more likely to reduce under-weight, but increase overweight/obesity, whereas effective political competition does entail double-benefits in the form of reducing both under-weight and obesity. Our results are robust to the introduction of country fixed effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-56
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Socio-Economics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013


  • BMI
  • Obesity
  • Developing countries
  • Generalized ordered response models

Cite this