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Economic Contextual Factors and Child Body Mass Index

In: Economic Aspects of Obesity

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  • Lisa M. Powell
  • Frank J. Chaloupka

Abstract

This study examines the relationship between child weight and fast food and fruit and vegetable prices and the availability of fast food restaurants, full-service restaurants, supermarkets, grocery stores and convenience stores. We estimate cross-sectional and individual-level fixed effects (FE) models to account for unobserved individual-level heterogeneity. Data are drawn from the Child Development Supplement of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics combined with external food price and outlet density data at the zip code level. FE results show that higher fruit and vegetable prices are statistically significantly related to a higher body mass index (BMI) percentile ranking among children with greater effects among low-income children: fruit and vegetable price elasticity for BMI is estimated to be 0.25 for the full sample and 0.60 among low-income children. Fast food prices are statistically significantly related to child weight only in cross-sectional models among low-income children with a price elasticity of -0.77. Increased supermarket availability and fewer available convenience stores are related with lower weight outcomes among low-income children. These results provide evidence on the potential effectiveness of using fiscal pricing interventions such as taxes and subsidies and other interventions to improve supermarket access as policy instruments to address childhood obesity.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Michael Grossman & Naci H. Mocan, 2011. "Economic Aspects of Obesity," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros09-1, October.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11818.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11818

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    1. Oliveira, Victor & Frazao, Elizabeth, 2009. "The WIC Program: Background, Trends, and Economic Issues, 2009 Edition," Economic Research Report, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service 55839, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Alan C. Monheit & Jessica P. Vistnes & Jeannette A. Rogowski, 2007. "Overweight in Adolescents: Implications for Health Expenditures," NBER Working Papers 13488, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Anderson, Patricia M. & Butcher, Kristin F. & Levine, Phillip B., 2003. "Maternal employment and overweight children," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 477-504, May.
    4. Shapiro, Jesse & Glaeser, Edward & Cutler, David, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese," Scholarly Articles 2640583, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    5. Shin-Yi Chou & Inas Rashad & Michael Grossman, 2005. "Fast-Food Restaurant Advertising on Television and Its Influence on Childhood Obesity," NBER Working Papers 11879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Shin-Yi Chou & Michael Grossman & Henry Saffer, 2002. "An Economic Analysis of Adult Obesity: Results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," NBER Working Papers 9247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2002. "The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination," NBER Working Papers 8946, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson & Jay Bhattacharya, 2005. "Welfare-Enhancing Technological Change and the Growth of Obesity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 253-257, May.
    9. Classen, Timothy & Hokayem, Charles, 2005. "Childhood influences on youth obesity," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 165-187, July.
    10. Powell, Lisa M., 2009. "Fast food costs and adolescent body mass index: Evidence from panel data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 963-970, September.
    11. Dragan Miljkovic & William Nganje, 2008. "Regional obesity determinants in the United States: a model of myopic addictive behavior in food consumption," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 38(3), pages 375-384, 05.
    12. David Cutler & Edward Glaeser & Jesse Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," NBER Working Papers 9446, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Guthrie, Joanne F. & Frazao, Elizabeth & Andrews, Margaret S. & Smallwood, David M., 2007. "Improving Food Choices-Can Food Stamps Do More?," Amber Waves, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Powell, Lisa M. & Wada, Roy & Krauss, Ramona C. & Wang, Youfa, 2012. "Ethnic disparities in adolescent body mass index in the United States: The role of parental socioeconomic status and economic contextual factors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 469-476.

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