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Exposure to Obesity and Weight Gain among Adolescents

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Author Info

  • Muzhe Yang

    ()
    (Lehigh University)

  • Rui Huang

    ()
    (University of Connecticut)

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    Abstract

    In a treatment-effect framework using Add Health data, we investigate whether adolescents gain weight when increasingly exposed to obesity in their social networks. We ?nd that weight gain can be a reaction to an increase, but not a decrease, in exposure to obesity that is based on social ties, not geographic proximity. Taking an endogenous growth perspective on the prevalence of obesity, we thus attempt to reveal a mechanism through which obesity may potentially develop into a sweeping epidemic. Our results also suggest an uphill battle against the obesity epidemic, and we recommend that its prevention be a high priority.

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    File URL: http://fmpc.uconn.edu/publications/rr/rr116.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy in its series Food Marketing Policy Center Research Reports with number 116.

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    Length: 67 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:zwi:fpcrep:116

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    1. Cohen-Cole, Ethan & Fletcher, Jason M., 2008. "Is obesity contagious? Social networks vs. environmental factors in the obesity epidemic," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1382-1387, September.
    2. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald & Bert Van Landeghem, 2008. "Imitative Obesity and Relative Utility," NBER Working Papers 14337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Cohen-Cole, Ethan, 2006. "Multiple groups identification in the linear-in-means model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 157-162, August.
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