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Yen-ju Lin and Chun-chih Chen
 
''Eating Behavior and the Utilization of Outpatient Services - The Case of Taiwan''
( 2012, Vol. 32 No.3 )
 
 
This study analyzes the 2001 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the National Health Insurance Research Dataset (NHIRD) in Taiwan to evaluate the impact of eating behavior on outpatient service utilization and expenditure using a two-part model. Our empirical analysis suggests that eating behavior is significantly associated with the utilization of outpatient services and with medical expenditure. If a person has grains, fruit or milk every day, the probability of using outpatient services and incurring medical expenditures is significantly lower. In addition, the probability of using outpatient services and related expenditure is higher for the people who have sweet food every day. Moreover, we also find that a higher eating quality reduces the probability of using outpatient services and the expenditure is also lower in the case of those people who develop a high eating quality once they decide to visit a doctor. If eating behavior is improved, the morbidities associated with chronic diseases may be reduced, which will further alleviate the burden of national medical expenditure. The implication for policy making is that healthy eating behavior should be promoted, especially among adolescents, since eating behavior is not easily changed once it has been formed.
 
 
Keywords: Eating Behavior, Nutrition, Outpatient services, Outpatient Expenditures
JEL: I1 - Health: General
H0 - Public Economics: General
 
Manuscript Received : Apr 27 2012 Manuscript Accepted : Aug 01 2012

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