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Peer-Effects In Obesity Among Public School Children: A Grade-Level Analysis

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  • Asirvatham, Jebaraj
  • Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr.
  • Thomsen, Michael R.

Abstract

We examine the role of peer effects in childhood obesity outcomes by investigating whether obesity rates among the highest graders in a public school has an effect on obesity rates among younger grades. We use a panel dataset with obesity prevalence measured at the grade level. Our data are from Arkansas public schools. Results provide evidence that changes in the obesity prevalence at the highest grade are associated with changes in obesity prevalence at younger grades. The magnitude of the peer effect depends on the type of school, and we find statistically significant peer effects in both elementary and high schools but not in middle schools. These effects are also larger in high schools than in elementary schools. We use falsification tests to provide evidence that these peer effects are more than just a statistical correlation or an association.

Suggested Citation

  • Asirvatham, Jebaraj & Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr. & Thomsen, Michael R., 2012. "Peer-Effects In Obesity Among Public School Children: A Grade-Level Analysis," 2012 AAEA/EAAE Food Environment Symposium 122732, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaeafe:122732
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.122732
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Nie, Peng & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & He, Xiaobo, 2015. "Peer effects on childhood and adolescent obesity in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 47-69.
    2. Pham, Matthew V. & Roe, Brian E., 2013. "Will Reducing the Calorie Content of School Lunches Affect Participation? Evidence from a Choice Experiment with Suburban Parents," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149816, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Li, Yajuan & Palma, Marco & Towne, Samuel & Warren, Judith & Ory, Marcia, 2016. "Peer Effects on Childhood Obesity from a Physical Activity and Dietary Intervention Program," 2016 Annual Meeting, February 6-9, 2016, San Antonio, Texas 229803, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    4. Gwozdz, Wencke & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Reisch, Lucia A. & Bammann, Karin & Eiben, Gabriele & Kourides, Yiannis & Kovács, Éva & Lauria, Fabio & Konstabel, Kenn & Santaliestra-Pasias, Alba M. & Vyncke, , 2015. "Peer effects on obesity in a sample of European children," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 139-152.
    5. Asirvatham, Jebaraj & Nayga, Rodolfo M. Jr. & Thomsen, Michael R., 2013. "Peer-Effects on Childhood Obesity," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150417, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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    Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety;

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