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The effect of friends on adolescent body weight

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Author Info

  • Renna, Francesco
  • Grafova, Irina B.
  • Thakur, Nidhi

Abstract

Using the first wave of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) survey, this paper examines the influence of peers on adolescent weight. A peer group is defined as a close circle of friends that are identified by a respondent adolescent. After controlling for school fixed effects and for a number of individual, demographic and family characteristics, we find that a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) of close friends is correlated to a higher BMI of the respondent adolescent. However, after instrumental variable analysis is performed, the effect remains significant only among women. We also found that adolescents are more responsive to the body weight of their same gender friends.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

Volume (Year): 6 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 377-387

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:6:y:2008:i:3:p:377-387

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

Related research

Keywords: BMI Adolescents Peer pressure;

References

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  1. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  2. Brian Krauth, 2004. "Simulation-based estimation of peer effects," Econometrics 0408002, EconWPA.
  3. Powell, Lisa M. & Tauras, John A. & Ross, Hana, 2005. "The importance of peer effects, cigarette prices and tobacco control policies for youth smoking behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 950-968, September.
  4. Brunello, Giorgio & D'Hombres, Beatrice, 2007. "Does body weight affect wages?: Evidence from Europe," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 1-19, March.
  5. Krauth, Brian V., 2007. "Peer and Selection Effects on Youth Smoking in California," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 288-298, July.
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  9. Alejandro Gaviria & Steven Raphael, 2001. "School-Based Peer Effects And Juvenile Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 257-268, May.
  10. Clark, Andrew E. & Loheac, Youenn, 2007. ""It wasn't me, it was them!" Social influence in risky behavior by adolescents," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 763-784, July.
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  12. Do, D. Phuong & Dubowitz, Tamara & Bird, Chloe E. & Lurie, Nicole & Escarce, Jose J. & Finch, Brian K., 2007. "Neighborhood context and ethnicity differences in body mass index: A multilevel analysis using the NHANES III survey (1988-1994)," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 179-203, July.
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  14. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Cawley, John, 2008. "Beyond BMI: The value of more accurate measures of fatness and obesity in social science research," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 519-529, March.
  15. Lundborg, Petter, 2006. "Having the wrong friends? Peer effects in adolescent substance use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 214-233, March.
  16. Michael Kremer & Dan M. Levy, 2003. "Peer Effects and Alcohol Use Among College Students," NBER Working Papers 9876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Adriaan R. Soetevent, 2006. "Empirics of the Identification of Social Interactions; An Evaluation of the Approaches and Their Results ," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 193-228, 04.
  18. Trogdon, Justin G. & Nonnemaker, James & Pais, Joanne, 2008. "Peer effects in adolescent overweight," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1388-1399, September.
  19. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
  20. Cohen, Deborah A. & Finch, Brian K. & Bower, Aimee & Sastry, Narayan, 2006. "Collective efficacy and obesity: The potential influence of social factors on health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 769-778, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Halliday, Timothy J. & Kwak, Sally, 2008. "Weight Gain in Adolescents and Their Peers," IZA Discussion Papers 3610, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Albert Okunade & Andrew Hussey & Mustafa Karakus, 2009. "Overweight Adolescents and On-time High School Graduation: Racial and Gender Disparities," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 37(3), pages 225-242, September.
  3. Oleksandr Zhylyevskyy & Helen H. Jensen & Steven B. Garasky & Carolyn E. Cutrona & Frederick X. Gibbons, 2010. "Effects of Family, Friends, and Relative Prices on Fruit and Vegetable Consumption by African American Youths," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 10-wp515, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  4. Ryota Nakamura & Marc Suhrcke & Daniel John Zizzo, 2014. "A Triple Test for Behavioral Economics Models and Public Health Policy," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 14-01, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  5. Cunningham, Solveig A. & Vaquera, Elizabeth & Maturo, Claire C. & Venkat Narayan, K.M., 2012. "Is there evidence that friends influence body weight? A systematic review of empirical research," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(7), pages 1175-1183.
  6. Lindeboom, Maarten & Lundborg, Petter & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2010. "Assessing the impact of obesity on labor market outcomes," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 309-319, December.
  7. Ali, Mir M. & Rizzo, John A. & Amialchuk, Aliaksandr & Heiland, Frank, 2014. "Racial differences in the influence of female adolescents’ body size on dating and sex," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 140-152.
  8. Wen, Ming & Maloney, Thomas N., 2014. "Neighborhood socioeconomic status and BMI differences by immigrant and legal status: Evidence from Utah," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 120-131.
  9. Eisenberg, Marla E. & Wall, Melanie & Shim, Jin Joo & Bruening, Meg & Loth, Katie & Neumark-Sztainer, Dianne, 2012. "Associations between friends' disordered eating and muscle-enhancing behaviors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(12), pages 2242-2249.
  10. Ali, Mir M. & Amialchuk, Aliaksandr & Rizzo, John A., 2012. "The influence of body weight on social network ties among adolescents," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 20-34.
  11. Auld, M. Christopher, 2011. "Effect of large-scale social interactions on body weight," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 303-316, March.

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