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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

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  1. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2006. "Time to Eat: Household Production Under Increasing Income Inequality," NBER Working Papers 12002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. John Komlos & Marieluise Baur, 2003. "From the Tallest to (One of) the Fattest: The Enigmatic Fate of the American Population in the 20th Century," CESifo Working Paper Series 1028, CESifo Group Munich.
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  7. 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.
  8. Daniel S. Hamermesh & John R. Wolfe, 1986. "Compensating Wage Differentials and the Duration of Wage Loss," NBER Working Papers 1887, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Reuben Gronau & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2001. "The Demand for Variety: A Household Production Perspective," NBER Working Papers 8509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Hamermesh, Daniel S., 2007. "AJAE Appendix: Time to Eat: Household Production Under Increasing Income Inequality," American Journal of Agricultural Economics Appendices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(4), November.
  14. Halliday, Timothy J. & Kwak, Sally, 2009. "Weight gain in adolescents and their peers," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 181-190, July.
  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. Lakdawalla, Darius & Philipson, Tomas, 2009. "The growth of obesity and technological change," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 283-293, December.
  17. 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.
  18. Baum II, Charles L. & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2009. "Age, socioeconomic status and obesity growth," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 635-648, May.
  19. Johansson, Edvard & Böckerman, Petri & Kiiskinen, Urpo & Heliövaara, Markku, 2009. "Obesity and labour market success in Finland: The difference between having a high BMI and being fat," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 36-45, March.
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