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Food Insecurity, Diet Quality, and Body Weight: Inter-Relationships and the Effect of Smoking and Alcohol Consumption

  • Duffy, Patricia A.
  • Zizza, Claire A.
  • Zhu, Min
  • Kinnucan, Henry W.
  • Tayie, Francis A.

Using data from the 1999-2002 rounds of the continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the inter-relationships between food insecurity, diet quality and body mass index (BMI) were examined. The impact of smoking and alcohol consumption behaviors were also examined. The relationship between BMI and food insecurity was found to be sensitive to the specification of control variables, such as age, income, and race and ethnicity. Smoking was directly associated with lower BMI for both men and women; while alcohol consumption was directly associated with lower BMI only for men. Smoking negatively affected food insecurity and diet quality, as measured by the Healthy Eating Index (HEI). For women, these indirect effects were statistically significant and positive, but extremely small in magnitude compared to the direct effect. For both men and women, level of physical activity was found to be a much more important determinant of body weight than smoking, drinking, and food insecurity. For women, race had a more important impact on body weight than smoking or drinking.

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Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida with number 6155.

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Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea08:6155
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  1. Zhuo Chen & Steven Yen & David Eastwood, 2007. "Does smoking have a causal effect on weight reduction?," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 49-67, March.
  2. Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin ., 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Economics Working Papers 97-253, University of California at Berkeley.
  3. Richards, Timothy J. & Patterson, Paul M., 2004. "Native American Obesity: An Economic Model Of The Thrifty Gene Theory," 2004 Annual Meeting, June 30-July 2, 2004, Honolulu, Hawaii 36208, Western Agricultural Economics Association.
  4. Nord, Mark, 2005. "Measuring U.S. Household Food Security," Amber Waves, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, April.
  5. Jonathan Gruber & Michael Frakes, 2005. "Does Falling Smoking Lead to Rising Obesity?," NBER Working Papers 11483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Brian S. Armour & M. Melinda Pitts & Chung-won Lee, 2007. "Cigarette smoking and food insecurity among low-income families in the United States, 2001," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2007-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
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