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Effects of Family, Friends, and Relative Prices on Fruit and Vegetable Consumption by African American Youths

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  • Zhylyevskyy, Oleksandr (Alex)
  • Jensen, Helen H.
  • Garasky, Steven
  • Cutrona, Carolyn E.
  • Gibbons, Frederick X.

Abstract

Facilitating healthy eating among young people, particularly among minorities who are at high risk for gaining excess weight, is at the forefront of the current policy discussions in the U.S. We investigate the effects of social interactions and relative prices on fruit and vegetable consumption by African American youths. We estimate a simultaneous equation ordered probit model of food intake using rich behavioral data from the Family and Community Health Study and price data from the Economic Research Service’s Quarterly Food-at-Home Price Database. We find the presence of endogenous effects between a youth and parent, but not between a youth and friend. Lower relative prices of fruits and vegetables tend to increase intakes. Results suggest that health interventions targeting only one family member may be a cost-effective way to increase fruit and vegetable intake by African Americans because of the existence of “spillover†consumption effects between the youths and their parents.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 32053.

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Date of creation: 23 Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:32053

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  1. 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.
  2. Renna, Francesco & Grafova, Irina B. & Thakur, Nidhi, 2008. "The effect of friends on adolescent body weight," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 377-387, December.
  3. Powell, Lisa M. & Tauras, John A. & Ross, Hana, 2005. "The importance of peer effects, cigarette prices and tobacco control policies for youth smoking behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 950-968, September.
  4. Krauth, Brian V., 2006. "Simulation-based estimation of peer effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 243-271, July.
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  6. Unnevehr, Laurian J. & Eales, J. & Jensen, Helen H. & Lusk, J. & McCluskey, J. & Kinsey, J., 2010. "Food and Consumer Economics," Staff General Research Papers, Iowa State University, Department of Economics 31410, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  7. Harris, Jeffrey E. & González López-Valcárcel, Beatriz, 2008. "Asymmetric peer effects in the analysis of cigarette smoking among young people in the United States, 1992-1999," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 249-264, March.
  8. Olof Åslund & Peter Fredriksson, 2009. "Peer Effects in Welfare Dependence: Quasi-Experimental Evidence," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
  9. Lundborg, Petter, 2006. "Having the wrong friends? Peer effects in adolescent substance use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 214-233, March.
  10. Clark, Andrew E. & Lohéac, Youenn, 2005. ""It Wasn't Me, It Was Them!" - Social Influence in Risky Behavior by Adolescents," IZA Discussion Papers 1573, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Scott E. Carrell & Frederick V. Malmstrom & James E. West, 2008. "Peer Effects in Academic Cheating," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
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