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Separating what we eat from where: Measuring the effect of food away from home on diet quality

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  • Mancino, Lisa
  • Todd, Jessica
  • Lin, Biing-Hwan

Abstract

Many argue that food away from home (FAFH) is a contributing factor to the obesity epidemic, showing that body mass index and consumption of FAFH are positively correlated. However, correlation analyses using a simple regression approach, such as the Ordinary Least Squares (OLS), do not prove that FAFH causes weight gain. We use a first-difference estimator to establish a causal relationship between FAFH and dietary intakes. Using dietary recall data from the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the 1994-1996 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals, we find that FAFH does indeed increase caloric intake and reduce diet quality, but that the effect is smaller than if estimated using OLS. Thus, models based on associations are likely biased upward, as much as 25% by our estimates.

Suggested Citation

  • Mancino, Lisa & Todd, Jessica & Lin, Biing-Hwan, 2009. "Separating what we eat from where: Measuring the effect of food away from home on diet quality," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 557-562, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:34:y:2009:i:6:p:557-562
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 93-118, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. Keane, Christopher R. & Lafky, Jonathan M. & Board, Oliver J., 2012. "Altruism, reciprocity and health: A social experiment in restaurant choice," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 143-150.
    2. Seidu, Ayuba & Onel, Gulcan & Moss, Charles B. & Seale, James L., 2016. "Do Off-farm Work and Remittances affect Food Consumption Patterns? Evidence from Albania," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 235851, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Richards, Timothy J. & Mancino, Lisa, 2012. "Demand for Food Away from Home: A Multiple Discrete/Continuous Extreme Value Model," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 127103, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Cho, Sungju & Lee, Sanghyeon, 2016. "Multilevel Analysis On Mother’S Nutrition Label Use And Children’S Propensity For Being Overweight," Journal of Rural Development/Nongchon-Gyeongje, Korea Rural Economic Institute, vol. 0(Special I), pages 1-24, December.
    5. Carlson, Andrea & Dong, Diansheng & Lino, Mark, 2014. "Association between Total Diet Cost and Diet Quality Is Limited," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 1-22, April.
    6. Carlson, Andrea & Dong, Diansheng & Lino, Mark, 2010. "Are The Total Daily Cost Of Food And Diet Quality Related: A Random Effects Panel Data Analysis," 115th Joint EAAE/AAEA Seminar, September 15-17, 2010, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany 116395, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. Zheng, Qiujie & Wang, H. Holly, 2016. "Chinese preferences for sustainable attributes for food away from home: A rank-ordered model," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 148-158.
    8. Smith, Lisa C., 2015. "The great Indian calorie debate: Explaining rising undernourishment during India’s rapid economic growth," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 53-67.
    9. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:75:y:2018:i:c:p:134-146 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Zeng, Di & Thomsen, Michael R. & Nayga, Rodolfo M. Jr., 2015. "Food Desert and Weight Outcome: Disentangling Confounding Mechanisms," 2016 Allied Social Sciences Association (ASSA) Annual Meeting, January 3-5, 2016, San Francisco, California 212813, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    11. Schroeter, Christiane & House, Lisa A., 2015. "Fruit and Vegetable Consumption of College Students: What is the Role of Food Culture?," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 1-22, November.
    12. Piekut Marlena, 2016. "Restaurants and hotels expenditure in Polish households of the elderly," Ekonomia i Zarzadzanie. Economics and Management, Sciendo, vol. 8(1), pages 80-90, March.
    13. Smith, Travis A. & Lin, Biing-Hwan & Coats, Ellen, 2015. "The Evolving Role of Food Sourced Outside the Home on Diets in the U.S.: 1977-2010," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205770, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    14. Lin, Biing-Hwan & Smith, Travis A. & Lee, Jonq-Ying & Hall, Kevin D., 2011. "Measuring weight outcomes for obesity intervention strategies: The case of a sugar-sweetened beverage tax," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 329-341.
    15. Bozoglu, Mehmet & Bilgic, Abdulbaki & Yen, Steven T. & Huang, Chung L., 2013. "Household food expenditures at home and away from home in Turkey," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149737, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    16. Todd, Jessica E. & Mancino, Lisa & Lin, Biing-Hwan, 2010. "The Impact of Food Away from Home on Adult Diet Quality," Economic Research Report 58298, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    17. Zeballos, Eliana & Anekwe, Tobenna D., "undated". "The Association Between Nutrition Information Use and the Healthfulness of Food Acquisitions," Economic Research Report 276241, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    18. Chang, Hung-Hao, 2013. "Does Food Consumption Away From Home Make You Happier? An Empirical Investigation of the Elderly in Taiwan," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149927, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    19. Todd, Jessica E., 2014. "Changes in Eating Patterns and Diet Quality Among Working-Age Adults, 2005-2010," Economic Research Report 262214, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    20. Rahkovsky, Ilya & Jo, Young & Carlson, Andrea, "undated". "Consumers Balance Time and Money in Purchasing Convenience Foods," Economic Research Report 276227, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    21. Liu, Miaoru & Kasteridis, Panagiotis & Yen, Steven T., 2013. "Breakfast, lunch, and dinner expenditures away from home in the United States," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 156-164.
    22. Waehrer, Geetha & Deb, Partha & Decker, Sandra L., 2015. "Did the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act affect dietary intake of low-income individuals?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 170-183.
    23. Tiehen, Laura & Newman, Constance & Kirlin, John A., 2017. "The Food-Spending Patterns of Households Participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Findings From USDA's FoodAPS," Economic Information Bulletin 262461, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    24. Mancino, Lisa & Todd, Jessica E. & Guthrie, Joanne F. & Lin, Biing-Hwan, 2010. "How Food Away From Home Affects Children's Diet Quality," Economic Research Report 134700, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

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