Food Environment and Weight Outcomes: A Stochastic Frontier Approach
Food environment includes the presence of supermarkets, restaurants, warehouse clubs and supercenters, and other food outlets. This paper evaluates weight outcomes from a food environment using a stochastic production frontier and an equation for the determinants of efficiency, where the explanatory variables of the efficiency term include food environment indicators. Using individual consumer data and food environment data from New England counties, empirical results indicate that fruit and vegetables markets and full-service restaurants are negatively associated with weight outcomes, while warehouse clubs and supercenters are positively related. Supermarkets and other grocery stores, convenience stores and limited-service eating places are not significantly linked to weight gain. Farrell’s efficiency indexes are used to rank states and counties and several policy implications are suggested.
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