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Physical Activity: Economic and Policy Factors

In: Economic Aspects of Obesity

Author

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  • Melayne M. McInnes
  • Judith A. Shinogle

Abstract

While much research has focused on the costs of obesity and economic factors that drive obesity growth, little economic research has examined the factors that contribute to obesity -- physical inactivity and poor nutrition. This paper will examine correlates and predictors of physical activity over time with emphasis on economic factors. We use data for adults from the 2000-2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey that includes state and county codes for each individual that allows us to add supplementary data on state beer and cigarette taxes, local transportation costs, availability of gyms and recreational facilities, county unemployment, crime rates, and prices of related goods. We find that income and education has a strong and consistently positive effect on physical activity across specifications. Sin taxes have no effect on the likelihood of any exercise but generally have negative effects on vigorous exercise or moderate and vigorous exercise. Physical activity is more likely when there are more parks per capita in a county. Our results above are robust to the inclusion of weight status and use of flu shots (a measure of an individual's tendency towards prevention).
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Suggested Citation

  • Melayne M. McInnes & Judith A. Shinogle, 2011. "Physical Activity: Economic and Policy Factors," NBER Chapters,in: Economic Aspects of Obesity, pages 249-282 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11822
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Smith, Lindsey P. & Ng, Shu Wen & Popkin, Barry M., 2014. "No time for the gym? Housework and other non-labor market time use patterns are associated with meeting physical activity recommendations among adults in full-time, sedentary jobs," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 126-134.
    2. Georgia S. Papoutsi & Andreas C. Drichoutis & Rodolfo M. Nayga Jr., 2013. "The Causes Of Childhood Obesity: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(4), pages 743-767, September.
    3. Cavaco, Sandra & Eriksson, Tor & Skalli, Ali, 2014. "Life cycle development of obesity and its determinants in six European countries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 14(C), pages 62-78.
    4. Ngina Chiteji, 2010. "Time Preference, Noncognitive Skills and Well Being across the Life Course: Do Noncognitive Skills Encourage Healthy Behavior?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 200-204, May.
    5. Maoyong Fan & Yanhong Jin, 2014. "Do Neighborhood Parks and Playgrounds Reduce Childhood Obesity?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 96(1), pages 26-42.
    6. Vasilios Kosteas, 2015. "Physical activity and time preference," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 361-386, December.
    7. Cavaco, Sandra & Eriksson, Tor & Skalli, Ali, 2011. "Life Cycle Development of Obesity and Its Determinants," Working Papers 11-7, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.

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    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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