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An Exploration of the Relationship Between Income and Eating Behavior

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  • Chen, Susan E.
  • Liu, Jing
  • Binkley, James K.

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between income and eating behavior. To do this we examine choice in two food categories: milk and soft drinks. These categories have varieties differing in health qualities but either no differences in cost or lower cost for the healthier types. By examining food choices when there are no measurable cost differences but clear health differences, we are able to isolate the association between income and healthy eating behavior. We find a negative association between income and dietary intake of higher-calorie types of milk and soft drinks. Our estimates are consistent across the five sets of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals data that we study. For 2005 we estimate that an income increase of $10,000 is linked to a reduction in 377 calories from milk and 2,555 calories from soft drinks per year. Our results suggest that the cost of food may not be the only reason why low income people have less healthy diets.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/123315
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association in its journal Agricultural and Resource Economics Review.

Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:ags:arerjl:123315

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Web page: http://www.narea.org/
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Related research

Keywords: health behavior; healthy eating; low income; milk; soft drinks; Agricultural and Food Policy; Consumer/Household Economics; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Health Economics and Policy;

References

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  1. James Binkley, 2010. "Low Income and Poor Health Choices: The Example of Smoking," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(4), pages 972-984.
  2. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  3. Chou, Shin-Yi & Grossman, Michael & Saffer, Henry, 2004. "An economic analysis of adult obesity: results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 565-587, May.
  4. James K. Binkley & Alla Golub, 2011. "Consumer demand for nutrition versus taste in four major food categories," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 42(1), pages 65-74, 01.
  5. Zhuo Chen & Steven T. Yen & David B. Eastwood, 2005. "Effects of Food Stamp Participation on Body Weight and Obesity," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1167-1173.
  6. Tomas J. Philipson & Gary S. Becker, 1998. "Old-Age Longevity and Mortality-Contingent Claims," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 551-573, June.
  7. Parke E. Wilde & Christine K. Ranney, 2000. "The Monthly Food Stamp Cycle: Shooping Frequency and Food Intake Decisions in an Endogenous Switching Regression Framework," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(1), pages 200-213.
  8. Capps, Oral, Jr. & Clauson, Annette L. & Guthrie, Joanne F. & Pittman, Grant & Stockton, Matthew C., 2005. "Contributions Of Nonalcoholic Beverages To The U.S. Diet," Economic Research Report 33592, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  9. Blisard, Noel & Stewart, Hayden & Jolliffe, Dean, 2004. "Low-Income Households' Expenditures On Fruits And Vegetables," Agricultural Economics Reports 34041, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  10. Kuchler, Fred & Stewart, Hayden, 2008. "Price Trends Are Similar for Fruits, Vegetables, and Snack Foods," Economic Research Report 56447, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  11. Golan, Elise H. & Stewart, Hayden & Kuchler, Fred & Dong, Diansheng, 2008. "Can Low-Income Americans Afford a Healthy Diet?," Amber Waves, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Liu, Yizao & Lopez, Rigoberto A. & Zhu, Chen, 0. "The Impact of Four Alternative Policies to Decrease Soda Consumption," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association.

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