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Grazing, Goods and Girth: Determinants and Effects

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  • Daniel S. Hamermesh

Abstract

Using the 2006-07 American Time Use Survey and its Eating and Health Module, I show that over half of adult Americans report grazing (secondary eating/drinking) on a typical day, with grazing time almost equaling primary eating/drinking time. An economic model predicts that higher wage rates (price of time) will lead to substitution of grazing for primary eating/drinking, especially by raising the number of grazing incidents relative to meals. This prediction is confirmed in these data. Eating meals more frequently is associated with lower BMI and better self-reported health, as is grazing more frequently. Food purchases are positively related to time spent eating—substitution of goods for time is difficult—but are lower when eating time is spread over more meals.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15277.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Publication status: published as Hamermesh, Daniel S. "Grazing, Goods and Girth: Determinants and Effects." Economics and Human Biolgoy, Vol 8, No. 1, March 2010, pp. 2-15.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15277

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  1. Reuben Gronau & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2001. "The Demand for Variety: A Household Production Perspective," NBER Working Papers 8509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Halliday, Timothy J. & Kwak, Sally, 2009. "Weight gain in adolescents and their peers," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 181-190, July.
  3. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Cawley, John, 2008. "Beyond BMI: The value of more accurate measures of fatness and obesity in social science research," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 519-529, March.
  4. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  5. Dean R. Hyslop, 1999. "State Dependence, Serial Correlation and Heterogeneity in Intertemporal Labor Force Participation of Married Women," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1255-1294, November.
  6. Lindeboom, Maarten & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2004. "Cut-Point Shift and Index Shift in Self-Reported Health," IZA Discussion Papers 1286, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. David Cutler & Edward Glaeser & Jesse Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," NBER Working Papers 9446, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2007. "Time to Eat: Household Production under Increasing Income Inequality," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(4), pages 852-863.
  9. Tomas Philipson & Richard Posner, 2008. "Is the Obesity Epidemic a Public Health Problem? A Decade of Research on the Economics of Obesity," NBER Working Papers 14010, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Brunello, Giorgio & Michaud, Pierre-Carl & Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna, 2008. "The Rise in Obesity across the Atlantic: An Economic Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 3529, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Charles Baum, 2007. "The effects of race, ethnicity, and age on obesity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 687-705, July.
  12. Marianne Bertrand & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2009. "Time Use and Food Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 170-76, May.
  13. Adams, James D, 1985. "Permanent Differences in Unemployment and Permanent Wage Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(1), pages 29-56, February.
  14. Shapiro, Jesse & Glaeser, Edward & Cutler, David, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese," Scholarly Articles 2640583, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  15. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Harley Frazis & Jay Stewart, 2005. "Data Watch: The American Time Use Survey," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 221-232, Winter.
  16. John Strauss & Paul J. Gertler & Omar Rahman & Kristin Fox, 1993. "Gender and Life-Cycle Differentials in the Patterns and Determinants of Adult Health," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(4), pages 791-837.
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Cited by:
  1. Giorgio Brunello & Daniele Fabbri & Margherita Fort, 2010. "Years of Schooling, Human Capital and the Body Mass Index of European Females," CHILD Working Papers wp02_10, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  2. Manan Roy & Daniel Millimet & Rusty Tchernis, 2012. "Federal nutrition programs and childhood obesity: inside the black box," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 1-38, March.

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