Peer Effects, Fast Food Consumption and Adolescent Weight Gain
AbstractThis paper aims at opening the black box of peer effects in adolescent weight gain. Using Add Health data on secondary schools in the U.S., we investigate whether these effects partly flow through the eating habits channel. Adolescents are assumed to interact through a friendship social network. We first propose a social interaction model of fast food consumption using a generalized spatial autoregressive approach. We exploit results by Bramoullé, Djebbari and Fortin (2009) which show that intransitive links within a network (i.e., a friend of one of my friends is not my friend) help identify peer effects. The model is estimated using maximum likelihood and generalized 2SLS strategies. We also estimate a panel dynamic weight gain production function relating an adolescent’s Body Mass Index (BMI) to his current fast food consumption and his lagged BMI level. Results show that there are positive significant peer effects in fast food consumption among adolescents belonging to a same friendship school network. The estimated social multiplier is 1.59. Our results also suggest that, at the network level, an extra day of weekly fast food restaurant visits increases BMI by 2.4%, when peer effects are taken into account.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 1103.
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Obesity; overweight; peer effects; social interactions; fast food; spatial models;
Other versions of this item:
- Bernard Fortin & Myra Yazbeck, 2011. "Peer Effects, Fast Food Consumption and Adolescent Weight Gain," CIRANO Working Papers 2011s-20, CIRANO.
- C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
- I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2011-02-12 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2011-02-12 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2011-02-12 (Health Economics)
- NEP-NET-2011-02-12 (Network Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2011-02-12 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
- NEP-URE-2011-02-12 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Cohen-Cole, Ethan & Fletcher, Jason M., 2008. "Is obesity contagious? Social networks vs. environmental factors in the obesity epidemic," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1382-1387, September.
- Luisa Corrado & Roberta Distante, 2012. "Eating Behavior and Social Interactions from Adolescence to Adulthood," Discussion Papers 12-03, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
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