The European Journal of Health Economics

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 371–388

Can Mediterranean diet really influence obesity? Evidence from propensity score matching

  • Andreas C. Drichoutis
  • Panagiotis Lazaridis
  • Rodolfo M. NaygaJr.
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10198-008-0138-x

Cite this article as:
Drichoutis, A.C., Lazaridis, P. & Nayga, R.M. Eur J Health Econ (2009) 10: 371. doi:10.1007/s10198-008-0138-x


Worldwide obesity rates have stimulated interest in healthy dietary patterns. One well-known dietary pattern is the Mediterranean diet, which has been linked with several beneficial health effects. However, concerns have also been raised regarding the Mediterranean diet’s role in promoting weight gain. We explored the effect of the Mediterranean diet on body mass index using the propensity score matching approach. We found no statistically significant average treatment effect on the treated and therefore cannot confirm that a causal link exists between Mediterranean diet and body mass index.


Mediterranean dietBody mass indexPropensity score matchingOrdered treatmentRosenbaum bounds

JEL Classification


Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas C. Drichoutis
    • 1
  • Panagiotis Lazaridis
    • 1
  • Rodolfo M. NaygaJr.
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Political Economy and European Integration, Department of Agricultural Economics & Rural DevelopmentAgricultural University of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural Economics and AgribusinessUniversity of ArkansasLittle RockUSA