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Separating what we eat from where: Measuring the effect of food away from home on diet quality

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  • Mancino, Lisa
  • Todd, Jessica
  • Lin, Biing-Hwan

Abstract

Many argue that food away from home (FAFH) is a contributing factor to the obesity epidemic, showing that body mass index and consumption of FAFH are positively correlated. However, correlation analyses using a simple regression approach, such as the Ordinary Least Squares (OLS), do not prove that FAFH causes weight gain. We use a first-difference estimator to establish a causal relationship between FAFH and dietary intakes. Using dietary recall data from the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the 1994-1996 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals, we find that FAFH does indeed increase caloric intake and reduce diet quality, but that the effect is smaller than if estimated using OLS. Thus, models based on associations are likely biased upward, as much as 25% by our estimates.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.

Volume (Year): 34 (2009)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 557-562

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:34:y:2009:i:6:p:557-562

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/foodpol

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Keywords: Food consumption Food away from home Obesity Healthy Eating Index Fixed effects;

References

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  1. David Cutler & Edward Glaeser & Jesse Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," NBER Working Papers 9446, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. James K. Binkley, 2008. "Calorie and Gram Differences between Meals at Fast Food and Table Service Restaurants," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 30(4), pages 750-763.
  3. Shapiro, Jesse & Glaeser, Edward & Cutler, David, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese," Scholarly Articles 2640583, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Mancino, Lisa & Todd, Jessica E. & Guthrie, Joanne F. & Lin, Biing-Hwan, 2010. "How Food Away From Home Affects Children's Diet Quality," Economic Research Report 134700, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  2. Chang, Hung-Hao, 2013. "Does Food Consumption Away From Home Make You Happier? An Empirical Investigation of the Elderly in Taiwan," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149927, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  3. Keane, Christopher R. & Lafky, Jonathan M. & Board, Oliver J., 2012. "Altruism, reciprocity and health: A social experiment in restaurant choice," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 143-150.
  4. Carlson, Andrea & Dong, Diansheng & Lino, Mark, 2014. "Association between Total Diet Cost and Diet Quality Is Limited," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 39(1), April.
  5. Bozoglu, Mehmet & Bilgic, Abdulbaki & Yen, Steven T. & Huang, Chung L., 2013. "Household food expenditures at home and away from home in Turkey," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149737, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  6. Todd, Jessica E. & Mancino, Lisa & Lin, Biing-Hwan, 2010. "The Impact of Food Away from Home on Adult Diet Quality," Economic Research Report 58298, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  7. Carlson, Andrea & Dong, Diansheng & Lino, Mark, 2010. "Are The Total Daily Cost Of Food And Diet Quality Related: A Random Effects Panel Data Analysis," 115th Joint EAAE/AAEA Seminar, September 15-17, 2010, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany 116395, European Association of Agricultural Economists;Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  8. Richards, Timothy J. & Mancino, Lisa, 2012. "Demand for Food Away from Home: A Multiple Discrete/Continuous Extreme Value Model," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 127103, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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