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The Effects of Food Stamps on Obesity

  • Charles L. Baum

    ()

    (Economics and Finance Department, P.O. Box 27, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132, USA)

Poverty has historically been associated with a decrease in food consumption. This at least partially changed in 1964 when the Food Stamp Act began guaranteeing food for those in poverty. Since the act’s passage, the prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically, particularly among those with low incomes. This article examines the effects of the Food Stamp Program on the prevalence of obesity using 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth data. Results indicate that food stamps have significant positive effects on obesity and the obesity gap for females, but these effects are relatively small, and consequently, such benefits are approximated to have played a minor role in increasing obesity at the aggregate level.

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Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 77 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (January)
Pages: 623-651

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:77:3:y:2011:p:623-651
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.southerneconomic.org/

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