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Does Where You Live Make You Fat? Obesity and Access to Chain Grocers

Author

Listed:
  • Chen, Susan E.
  • Florax, Raymond J.G.M.
  • Snyder, Samantha D.

Abstract

This paper investigates the role that aspects of the physical environment play in determining health outcomes in adults as measured by body mass index (BMI). Using spatial econometric techniques that allow for spatial spillovers and feedback processes, this research specifically examines how differing levels of access to large chain grocers has on individual health outcomes. While other studies have investigated the impact of proximity to food retailers, the point-coordinate data used in this paper is uniquely suited to spatial econometric estimation at the individual level. In addition to modeling spatial dependence and allowing for unobserved neighborhood effects, the flexibility of the model is increased by incorporating potential spatial heterogeneity between wealthier and lower-income neighborhoods. Using survey responses tied to geographic location, demographic, behavioral, and access to chain grocers, this study finds evidence of spatial dependence pointing to locational impacts on BMI. The effect on individual health outcomes of retailer access improvements varies depending on neighborhood characteristics. Our findings suggest structural differences in the variation and sensitivity of BMI dependent jointly on individual and neighborhood characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen, Susan E. & Florax, Raymond J.G.M. & Snyder, Samantha D., 2009. "Does Where You Live Make You Fat? Obesity and Access to Chain Grocers," Working papers 53838, Purdue University, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:puaewp:53838
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.53838
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/53838/files/09-11DoesWhereYouLive.docx.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:taf:recgxx:v:83:y:2007:i:3:p:221-229 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 93-118, Summer.
    3. Cohen-Cole, Ethan & Fletcher, Jason M., 2008. "Is obesity contagious? Social networks vs. environmental factors in the obesity epidemic," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1382-1387, September.
    4. Eid, Jean & Overman, Henry G. & Puga, Diego & Turner, Matthew A., 2008. "Fat city: Questioning the relationship between urban sprawl and obesity," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 385-404, March.
    5. Anselin, Luc & Bera, Anil K. & Florax, Raymond & Yoon, Mann J., 1996. "Simple diagnostic tests for spatial dependence," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 77-104, February.
    6. Anne C. Case & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects of Family and Neighborhood on Disadvantaged Youths," NBER Working Papers 3705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Luc Anselin, 2003. "Spatial Externalities, Spatial Multipliers, And Spatial Econometrics," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 26(2), pages 153-166, April.
    8. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2002:92:11:1761-1767_2 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrews, Margaret S. & Bhatta, Rhea & Ver Ploeg, Michele, 2012. "Did the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Increase in SNAP Benefits Reduce the Impact of Food Deserts?," 2012 AAEA/EAAE Food Environment Symposium 123520, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Wilde, Parke & Llobrera, Joseph & Ver Ploeg, Michele, 2014. "Population Density, Poverty, and Food Retail Access in the United States: An Empirical Approach," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, vol. 17(A), pages 1-16, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Food Security and Poverty; Health Economics and Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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