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The Influence of Socioeconomic and Environmental Factors on Health and Obesity in Rural Appalachia

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Author Info

  • Anura Amarasinghe

    (Division of Resource Management, West Virginia University)

  • Gerard D'Souza

    ()
    (Division of Resource Management, West Virginia University)

  • Cheryl Brown

    ()
    (Division of Resource Management, West Virginia University)

  • Hyungna Oh
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    Abstract

    A recursive system of ordered self assessed health (SAH) and a binary indicator of obesity were used to investigate the impact of socioeconomic and environmental factors on health and obesity in the predominantly rural Appalachian state of West Virginia. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data together with county specific socioeconomic and built environment indicators were used in estimation. Results indicate that an individual’s risk of being obese increases at a decreasing rate with per capita income and age. Marginal impacts show that as the level of education attainment increases, the probability of being obese decreases by 3%. Physical inactivity increases the risk of being obese by 9%, while smoking reduces the risk of being obese by 14%. Fruit and vegetable consumption lowers the probability of being obese by 2%, while each hour increase in commuting time raises the probability of being obese by 2.4%. In addition, individuals living in economically distressed counties are less likely to have good health. Intervention measures which stimulate human capital development and better land use planning are essential policy elements to improving health and reducing the incidence of obesity in rural Appalachia.

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    File URL: http://rri.wvu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/wp2006-12.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University in its series Working Papers with number 200612.

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    Length: 33 pages
    Date of creation: 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:rri:wpaper:200612

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    Web page: http://rri.wvu.edu/research/working-papers/
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    Keywords: health; obesity; human capital; land use; rural;

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    References

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    1. Contoyannis, Paul & Jones, Andrew M., 2004. "Socio-economic status, health and lifestyle," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 965-995, September.
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    11. Shin-Yi Chou & Michael Grossman & Henry Saffer, 2002. "An Economic Analysis of Adult Obesity: Results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," NBER Working Papers 9247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Mancino, Lisa & Lin, Biing-Hwan & Ballenger, Nicole, 2003. "The Role Of Economics In Eating Choices And Weight Outcomes," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33781, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    13. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1982. "Health and Wage: A Simultaneous Equation Model with Multiple Discrete Indicators," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 23(1), pages 199-221, February.
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    15. Jonathan Gruber & Michael Frakes, 2005. "Does Falling Smoking Lead to Rising Obesity?," NBER Working Papers 11483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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