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Consumer Heterogeneity: Does It Affect Policy Responses to the Obesity Epidemic?


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  • Lyford, Conrad P.
  • Belasco, Eric J.
  • Chidmi, Benaissa
  • Funtanilla, Margil


The fight against obesity in the U.S. has become a priority area for policy makers due to the additional health risks and health care costs. In developing policy to lower obesity rates, it is important to accurately characterize the impact that exercise, smoking and demographic characteristics have on BMI in order to draft effective policy. This analysis uses data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFS) to evaluate the relationship between behavioral and demographic factors with BMI while explicitly accounting for individual heterogeneity by using a quantile analysis. Results suggest that the effect of exercise, smoking, occupation and race vary by BMI quantile, indicating that consumers should be treated as heterogeneous at least for these factors in obesity policy and related analyses.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Southern Agricultural Economics Association in its series 2010 Annual Meeting, February 6-9, 2010, Orlando, Florida with number 56467.

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Date of creation: Feb 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ags:saea10:56467

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Related research

Keywords: Obesity; Quantile Regression; Heterogeneity; Policy; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; I18;

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