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Physical Activity: Economic and Policy Factors

In: Economic Aspects of Obesity

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  • Melayne M. McInnes
  • Judith A. Shinogle

Abstract

While much research has focused on the costs of obesity and economic factors that drive obesity growth, little economic research has examined the factors that contribute to obesity -- physical inactivity and poor nutrition. This paper will examine correlates and predictors of physical activity over time with emphasis on economic factors. We use data for adults from the 2000-2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey that includes state and county codes for each individual that allows us to add supplementary data on state beer and cigarette taxes, local transportation costs, availability of gyms and recreational facilities, county unemployment, crime rates, and prices of related goods. We find that income and education has a strong and consistently positive effect on physical activity across specifications. Sin taxes have no effect on the likelihood of any exercise but generally have negative effects on vigorous exercise or moderate and vigorous exercise. Physical activity is more likely when there are more parks per capita in a county. Our results above are robust to the inclusion of weight status and use of flu shots (a measure of an individual's tendency towards prevention).

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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.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11822.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11822

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    1. Gruber, Jonathan & Frakes, Michael, 2006. "Does falling smoking lead to rising obesity?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 183-197, March.
    2. David Cutler & Edward Glaeser & Jesse Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," NBER Working Papers 9446, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Courtemanche, Charles & Carden, Art, 2008. "Supersizing Supercenters? The Impact of Wal-Mart Supercenters on Body Mass Index and Obesity," Working Papers 09-3, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics, revised 29 Jan 2009.
    4. Cawley, John & Markowitz, Sara & Tauras, John, 2004. "Lighting up and slimming down: the effects of body weight and cigarette prices on adolescent smoking initiation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 293-311, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Tomas Philipson, 2001. "The world-wide growth in obesity: an economic research agenda," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(1), pages 1-7.
    7. Smith, Patricia K. & Bogin, Barry & Bishai, David, 2005. "Are time preference and body mass index associated?: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 259-270, July.
    8. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2003. "Healthy Living in Hard Times," NBER Working Papers 9468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. John Cawley & Chad D. Meyerhoefer & David Newhouse, 2005. "The Impact of State Physical Education Requirements on Youth Physical Activity and Overweight," NBER Working Papers 11411, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Anderson, Patricia M. & Butcher, Kristin F. & Levine, Phillip B., 2003. "Maternal employment and overweight children," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 477-504, May.
    11. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650, May.
    12. Inas Rashad & Sara Markowitz, 2007. "Incentives in Obesity and Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 13113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. John Mullahy & Stephanie A. Robert, 2008. "No Time to Lose? Time Constraints and Physical Activity," NBER Working Papers 14513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Shapiro, Jesse & Glaeser, Edward & Cutler, David, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese," Scholarly Articles 2640583, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    15. Rashad, Inas, 2006. "Structural estimation of caloric intake, exercise, smoking, and obesity," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 268-283, May.
    16. Sara Bleich & David Cutler & Christopher Murray & Alyce Adams, 2007. "Why Is The Developed World Obese?," NBER Working Papers 12954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Baum II, Charles L. & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2009. "Age, socioeconomic status and obesity growth," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 635-648, May.
    18. Chou, Shin-Yi & Grossman, Michael & Saffer, Henry, 2006. "Reply to Jonathan Gruber and Michael Frakes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 389-393, March.
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    Cited by:
    1. Fan, Maoyong & Jin, Yanhong H., 2012. "Do Neighborhood Parks And Playgrounds Reduce Childhood Obesity?," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 123421, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Ngina Chiteji, 2010. "Time Preference, Noncognitive Skills and Well Being across the Life Course: Do Noncognitive Skills Encourage Healthy Behavior?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 200-204, May.
    3. Georgia S. Papoutsi & Andreas C. Drichoutis & Rodolfo M. Nayga Jr., 2013. "The Causes Of Childhood Obesity: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(4), pages 743-767, 09.
    4. Cavaco, Sandra & Eriksson, Tor & Skalli, Ali, 2014. "Life Cycle Development of Obesity and Its Determinants in Six European Countries," CEI Working Paper Series 2013-08, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    5. Cavaco, Sandra & Eriksson, Tor & Skalli, Ali, 2011. "Life Cycle Development of Obesity and Its Determinants," Working Papers 11-7, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.

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