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Food Prices and Body Fatness among Youths

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  • Grossman, Michael
  • Tekin, Erdal
  • Wada, Roy

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the effect of food prices on clinical measures of obesity, including body mass index (BMI) and percentage body fat (PBF) measures derived from bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), among youths ages 12 through 18. The empirical analyses employ data from various waves of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) merged with several food prices measured by county and year. This is the first study to consider clinically measured levels of body composition rather than BMI to investigate the effects of food prices on obesity among youths. We also examine whether the effects of food prices on body composition differ by gender and race/ethnicity. Our findings suggest that increases in the real price of one calorie in food for home consumption and the real price of fast-food restaurant food lead to improvements in obesity outcomes among youths. We also find that an increase in the real price of fruits and vegetables has negative consequences for these outcomes. Finally, our results indicate that measures of PBF derived from BIA and DXA are no less sensitive and in some cases more sensitive to the prices just mentioned than BMI.

Suggested Citation

  • Grossman, Michael & Tekin, Erdal & Wada, Roy, 2013. "Food Prices and Body Fatness among Youths," Working Papers 164711, American Association of Wine Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aawewp:164711
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Cawley, John, 2008. "Beyond BMI: The value of more accurate measures of fatness and obesity in social science research," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 519-529, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stephen Popick & Anthony M. Yezer, 2015. "Amenity, Diversity and Obesity: Unobserved Heretogeneity in Cities," Working Papers 2015-12, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    2. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:28:y:2018:i:c:p:160-172 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Rafael Moreira Claro & Vargas Hernandez & Joel Alberto & Satoru Shimokawa & Euna Han & Sharada Keats & Steve Wiggins, 2015. "The Rising Cost of a Healthy Diet – Changing Relative prices of Foods in High- Income and Emerging Economies," Working Papers id:7250, eSocialSciences.
    4. Dragone, Davide & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2017. "Non-separable time preferences, novelty consumption and body weight: Theory and evidence from the East German transition to capitalism," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 41-65.
    5. Dragone, D. & Ziebarth, N.R., 2015. "Non-Separable Time Preferences and Novelty Consumption: Theory and Evidence from the East German Transition to Capitalism," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 15/28, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    6. repec:rre:publsh:v47:y:2017:i:3:p:309-329 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Buttet, Sebastien & Dolar, Veronika, 4. "The Price Of One Sweet Calorie," International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics (IJFAEC), Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Department of Economics and Finance, vol. 3(4).
    8. Dragone, Davide & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2015. "Economic Development, Novelty Consumption, and Body Weight: Evidence from the East German Transition to Capitalism," IZA Discussion Papers 8967, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Wada, Roy & Han, Euna & Powell, Lisa M., 2015. "Associations between soda prices and intake: Evidence from 24-h dietary recall data," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 54-60.
    10. Loureiro, Maria L. & Rahmani, Djamel, 2016. "The incidence of calorie labeling on fast food choices: A comparison between stated preferences and actual choices," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 82-93.
    11. Buttet, Sebastien & Dolar, Veronika, 2015. "Toward a quantitative theory of food consumption choices and body weight," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 143-156.
    12. Anthony M Yezer & Stephen J Popick, 2017. "Climate Preferences, Obesity, and Unobserved Heterogeneity in Cities," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 47(3), pages 309-329, Fall.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    percentage body fat; food prices; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Health Economics and Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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