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Obesity in Urban Food Markets: Evidence from Geo-referenced Micro Data

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  • Chen, Susan E.
  • Florax, Raymond J.G.M.
  • Snyder, Samantha D.

Abstract

This paper provides quantitative estimates of the effect of proximity to fast food restaurants and grocery stores on obesity in urban food markets. Our empirical model combined georeferenced micro data on access to fast food restaurants and grocery stores with data about salient personal characteristics, individual behaviors, and neighborhood characteristics. We defined a "local food environment" for every individual utilizing 0.5-mile buffers around a person's home address. Local food landscapes are potentially endogenous due to spatial sorting of the population and food outlets, and the body mass index (BMI) values for individuals living close to each other are likely to be spatially correlated because of observed and unobserved individual and neighborhood effects. The potential biases associated with endogeneity and spatial correlation were handled using spatial econometric estimation techniques. Our policy simulations for Indianapolis, Indiana, focused on the importance of reducing the density of fast food restaurants or increasing access to grocery stores. We accounted for spatial heterogeneity in both the policy instruments and individual neighborhoods, and consistently found small but statistically significant effects for the hypothesized relationships between individual BMI values and the densities of fast food restaurants and grocery stores.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin with number 49512.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea09:49512

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Related research

Keywords: obesity; fast food; grocery store; spatial econometrics; micro data; Agricultural and Food Policy; Community/Rural/Urban Development; Consumer/Household Economics; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Health Economics and Policy; Public Economics; Research Methods/ Statistical Methods; C31; D12; I12; I18;

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References

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  1. Shapiro, Jesse & Glaeser, Edward & Cutler, David, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese," Scholarly Articles 2640583, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Ethan Cohen-Cole & Jason M. Fletcher, 2008. "Is obesity contagious?: social networks vs. environmental factors in the obesity epidemic," Risk and Policy Analysis Unit Working Paper QAU08-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  3. Anderson, Michael L. & Matsa, David A., 2010. "Are Restaurants Really Supersizing America?," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt4vm5m5vr, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  4. Eid, Jean & Overman, Henry G. & Puga, Diego & Turner, Matthew A., 2008. "Fat city: Questioning the relationship between urban sprawl and obesity," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 385-404, March.
  5. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald & Bert Van Landeghem, 2008. "Imitative Obesity and Relative Utility," NBER Working Papers 14337, 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. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1994, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Currie, Janet & DellaVigna, Stefano & Moretti, Enrico & Pathania, Vikram, 2009. "The Effect of Fast Food Restaurants on Obesity," Working Papers 47830, American Association of Wine Economists.
  9. Janet Currie & Stefano DellaVigna & Enrico Moretti & Vikram Pathania, 2009. "The Effect of Fast Food Restaurants on Obesity and Weight Gain," NBER Working Papers 14721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Anselin, Luc & Bera, Anil K. & Florax, Raymond & Yoon, Mann J., 1996. "Simple diagnostic tests for spatial dependence," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 77-104, February.
  11. Irani Arraiz & David M. Drukker & Harry H. Kelejian & Ingmar R. Prucha, 2008. "A Spatial Cliff-Ord-type Model with Heteroskedastic Innovations: Small and Large Sample Results," CESifo Working Paper Series 2485, CESifo Group Munich.
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Cited by:
  1. Li, Lan, 2012. "An Empirical Analysis of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Its Relationship to Adult Obesity in the U.S," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 125002, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  2. Weatherspoon, Dave D. & Oehmke, James F. & Coleman, Marcus A. & Weatherspoon, Lorraine J., 2014. "Understanding Consumer Preferences for Nutritious Foods: Retailing Strategies in a Food Desert," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IAMA), vol. 17(A).
  3. Cotti, Chad & Tefft, Nathan, 2013. "Fast food prices, obesity, and the minimum wage," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 134-147.

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