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Physical Activity: Economic and Policy Factors

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  • Melayne M. McInnes
  • Judith A. Shinogle

Abstract

While much research has focused on the costs of obesity and economic factors that drive obesity growth, little economic research has examined the factors that contribute to obesity -- physical inactivity and poor nutrition. This paper will examine correlates and predictors of physical activity over time with emphasis on economic factors. We use data for adults from the 2000-2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey that includes state and county codes for each individual that allows us to add supplementary data on state beer and cigarette taxes, local transportation costs, availability of gyms and recreational facilities, county unemployment, crime rates, and prices of related goods. We find that income and education has a strong and consistently positive effect on physical activity across specifications. Sin taxes have no effect on the likelihood of any exercise but generally have negative effects on vigorous exercise or moderate and vigorous exercise. Physical activity is more likely when there are more parks per capita in a county. Our results above are robust to the inclusion of weight status and use of flu shots (a measure of an individual's tendency towards prevention).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15039.

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Date of creation: Jun 2009
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Publication status: published as Physical Activity: Economic and Policy Factors , Melayne M. McInnes, Judith A. Shinogle. in Economic Aspects of Obesity , Grossman and Mocan. 2011
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15039

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  8. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," NBER Working Papers 5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Smith, Patricia K. & Bogin, Barry & Bishai, David, 2005. "Are time preference and body mass index associated?: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 259-270, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Ngina Chiteji, 2010. "Time Preference, Noncognitive Skills and Well Being across the Life Course: Do Noncognitive Skills Encourage Healthy Behavior?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 200-204, May.
  2. Cavaco, Sandra & Eriksson, Tor & Skalli, Ali, 2011. "Life Cycle Development of Obesity and Its Determinants," Working Papers 11-7, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  3. Fan, Maoyong & Jin, Yanhong H., 2012. "Do Neighborhood Parks And Playgrounds Reduce Childhood Obesity?," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 123421, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  4. Cavaco, Sandra & Eriksson, Tor & Skalli, Ali, 2014. "Life Cycle Development of Obesity and Its Determinants in Six European Countries," CEI Working Paper Series 2013-08, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  5. Georgia S. Papoutsi & Andreas C. Drichoutis & Rodolfo M. Nayga Jr., 2013. "The Causes Of Childhood Obesity: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(4), pages 743-767, 09.

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