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Food Prices and Body Fatness among Youths

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Author Info

  • Grossman, Michael

    ()
    (CUNY Graduate Center)

  • Tekin, Erdal

    ()
    (Georgia State University)

  • Wada, Roy

    ()
    (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the effect of food prices on clinical measures of obesity, including body mass index (BMI) and percentage body fat (PBF) measures derived from bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), among youths ages 12 through 18. The empirical analyses employ data from various waves of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) merged with several food prices measured by county and year. This is the first study to consider clinically measured levels of body composition rather than BMI to investigate the effects of food prices on obesity among youths. We also examine whether the effects of food prices on body composition differ by gender and race/ethnicity. Our findings suggest that increases in the real price of one calorie in food for home consumption and the real price of fast-food restaurant food lead to improvements in obesity outcomes among youths. We also find that an increase in the real price of fruits and vegetables has negative consequences for these outcomes. Finally, our results indicate that measures of PBF derived from BIA and DXA are no less sensitive and in some cases more sensitive to the prices just mentioned than BMI.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7465.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in: Economics and Human Biology.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7465

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Keywords: BMI; body fat; obesity; food price;

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References

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  1. Naci Mocan & Erdal Tekin, 2011. "Obesity, Self-Esteem and Wages," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Obesity, pages 349-380 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lee, Helen, 2012. "The role of local food availability in explaining obesity risk among young school-aged children," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(8), pages 1193-1203.
  3. Grossman, Michael & Tekin, Erdal & Wada, Roy, 2012. "Fast-Food Restaurant Advertising on Television and Its Influence on Youth Body Composition," IZA Discussion Papers 7099, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2002. "The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination," Working Papers 0203, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  5. M. Christopher Auld & Lisa M. Powell, 2009. "Economics of Food Energy Density and Adolescent Body Weight," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(304), pages 719-740, October.
  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. Jason Fletcher & David Frisvold & Nathan Tefft, 2009. "The Effects of Soft Drink Taxes on Child and Adolescent Consumption and Weight Outcomes," Emory Economics 0908, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  8. 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.
  9. John Cawley & Richard V. Burkhauser, 2006. "Beyond BMI: The Value of More Accurate Measures of Fatness and Obesity in Social Science Research," NBER Working Papers 12291, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Roy Wada & Erdal Tekin, 2007. "Body Composition and Wages," NBER Working Papers 13595, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Conti, Gabriella & Heckman, James J., 2012. "The Economics of Child Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 6930, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Inas Rashad & Michael Grossman & Shin-Yi Chou, 2006. "The Super Size of America: An Economic Estimation of Body Mass Index and Obesity in Adults," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 32(1), pages 133-148, Winter.
  13. Powell, Lisa M., 2009. "Fast food costs and adolescent body mass index: Evidence from panel data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 963-970, September.
  14. Institute of Medicine Committee on Prevention of Obesity in Children & Youth & of which Robert C. Whitaker was a member, 2004. "Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 4231, Mathematica Policy Research.
  15. Becker, Gary S & Mulligan, Casey B, 1997. "The Endogenous Determination of Time Preference," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 729-58, August.
  16. Johansson, Edvard & Böckerman, Petri & Kiiskinen, Urpo & Heliövaara, Markku, 2009. "Obesity and labour market success in Finland: The difference between having a high BMI and being fat," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 36-45, March.
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  1. #HEJC papers for August 2013
    by academichealtheconomists in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2013-07-31 23:00:48

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