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Incentives, time use and BMI: The roles of eating, grazing and goods

  • Hamermesh, Daniel S.

In the 2006-2007 American Time Use Survey and its Eating and Health Module over half of adults 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 intervals 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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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

Volume (Year): 8 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 2-15

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:8:y:2010:i:1:p:2-15
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