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Fast food costs and adolescent body mass index: Evidence from panel data

  • Powell, Lisa M.
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    This study draws on four waves of the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and external data to examine the relationship between adolescent body mass index (BMI) and fast food prices and fast food restaurant availability using panel data estimation methods to account for individual-level unobserved heterogeneity. Analyses also control for contextual factors including general food prices and the availability of full-service restaurants, supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores and commercial physical activity-related facilities. The longitudinal individual-level fixed effects results confirm cross-sectional findings that the price of fast food but not the availability of fast food restaurants has a statistically significant effect on teen BMI with an estimated price elasticity of -0.08. The results suggest that the cross-sectional model over-estimates the price of fast food BMI effect by about 25%. There is evidence that the weight of teens in low- to middle-socioeconomic status families is most sensitive to fast food prices.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V8K-4WK43MS-1/2/82da99eedf3f260e0f19dc19c34f5615
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

    Volume (Year): 28 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 5 (September)
    Pages: 963-970

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:28:y:2009:i:5:p:963-970
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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    1. Shin-Yi Chou & Inas Rashad & Michael Grossman, 2005. "Fast-Food Restaurant Advertising on Television and Its Influence on Childhood Obesity," NBER Working Papers 11879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Powell, Lisa M. & Bao, Yanjun, 2009. "Food prices, access to food outlets and child weight," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 64-72, March.
    3. Stewart, Hayden & Blisard, Noel & Bhuyan, Sanjib & Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr., 2004. "The Demand For Food Away From Home: Full-Service Or Fast Food?," Agricultural Economics Reports 33953, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    4. 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.
    5. Patricia M. Anderson & Kristin F. Butcher & Phillip B. Levine, 2002. "Maternal Employment and Overweight Children," NBER Working Papers 8770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Shapiro, Jesse & Glaeser, Edward & Cutler, David, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese," Scholarly Articles 2640583, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    7. Alan C. Monheit & Jessica P. Vistnes & Jeannette A. Rogowski, 2007. "Overweight in Adolescents: Implications for Health Expenditures," NBER Working Papers 13488, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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