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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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Bibliographic Info

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. 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.
  2. Reuben Gronau & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2001. "The Demand for Variety: A Household Production Perspective," NBER Working Papers 8509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Halliday, Timothy J. & Kwak, Sally, 2008. "Weight Gain in Adolescents and Their Peers," IZA Discussion Papers 3610, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1994, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  6. Shapiro, Jesse & Glaeser, Edward & Cutler, David, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese," Scholarly Articles 2640583, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Marianne Bertrand & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2009. "Time Use and Food Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 170-76, May.
  8. Maarten Lindeboom & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2003. "Cut-point Shift and Index Shift in Self-reported Health," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-042/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  9. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Giorgio Brunello & Pierre-Carl Michaud & Anna Sanz de Galdeano, 2008. "The Rise in Obesity Across the Atlantic: An Economic Perspective," Working Papers 2008-21, FEDEA.
  15. 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.
  16. Charles Baum, 2007. "The effects of race, ethnicity, and age on obesity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 687-705, July.
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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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