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The Effects of Food Stamps on Obesity

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  • Charles L. Baum II

Abstract

Poverty has historically been associated with a decrease in food consumption. This at least partially changed in 1964 when the Food Stamp Act began guaranteeing food for those in poverty. Since the Act’s passage, the prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically, particularly among those with low incomes. This paper examines the effects of the Food Stamp Program on the prevalence of obesity using 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth data. Results indicate food stamps have significant positive effects on obesity and the obesity gap for females, but these effects are relatively small and such benefits, consequently, are approximated to have played a minor role in increasing obesity at the aggregate level.

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Paper provided by Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 201003.

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Date of creation: Feb 2010
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Handle: RePEc:mts:wpaper:201003

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Web page: http://www.mtsu.edu/~berc/working/Economics_Working_Papers.html
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Keywords: Food stamps; weight; obesity; BMI;

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  1. James P. Ziliak & Craig Gundersen & David N. Figlio, 2003. "Food Stamp Caseloads over the Business Cycle," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 903-919, April.
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  16. Chad D. Meyerhoefer & Yuriy Pylypchuk, 2008. "Does Participation in the Food Stamp Program Increase the Prevalence of Obesity and Health Care Spending?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(2), pages 287-305.
  17. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2007. "Labor Supply and Weight," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(1).
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Cited by:
  1. Huang, Ying & Huffman, Wallace, 2013. "Forward Looking Decision Making: The Effects of the Food Stamp Program Participation on Women’s Obesity in the NLSY," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150264, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  2. Vassilopoulos, Achilleas & Drichoutis, Andreas & Nayga, Rodolfo & Lazaridis, Panagiotis, 2011. "Does the Food Stamp Program Really Increase Obesity? The Importance of Accounting for Misclassification Errors," MPRA Paper 28768, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Salois, Matthew & Balcombe, Kelvin, 2011. "Do Food Stamps Cause Obesity? A Generalised Bayesian Instrumental Variable Approach in the Presence of Heteroscedasticity," MPRA Paper 28745, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Chad D. Meyerhoefer & Muzhe Yang, 2011. "The Relationship between Food Assistance and Health: A Review of the Literature and Empirical Strategies for Identifying Program Effects," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 33(3), pages 304-344.
  5. Courtemanche, Charles & Pinkston, Joshua C. & Stewart, Jay, 2014. "Adjusting Body Mass for Measurement Error with Invalid Validation Data," IZA Discussion Papers 8009, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Charles Baum, 2012. "The effects of food stamp receipt on weight gained by expectant mothers," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 1307-1340, October.
  7. Burgstahler, Rebecca & Gundersen, Craig & Garasky, Steven B., 2012. "The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Financial Stress, and Childhood Obesity," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 41(1), April.
  8. Tiehen, Laura & Jolliffe, Dean & Gundersen, Craig, 2012. "How State Policies Influence the Efficacy of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Reducing Poverty," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124937, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  9. Charles L. Baum II, 2010. "The Effects of Food Stamps on Weight Gained by Expectant Mothers," Working Papers 201002, Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance.
  10. Charles L. Baum & Shin-Yi Chou, 2011. "The Socio-Economic Causes of Obesity," NBER Working Papers 17423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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