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Exposure to Obesity and Weight Gain among Adolescents

  • Yang, Muzhe
  • Huang, Rui
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    In a treatment-effect framework using Add Health data, we investigate whether adolescents gain weight when increasingly exposed to obesity in their social networks. We find that weight gain can be a reaction to an increase, but not a decrease, in exposure to obesity that is based on social ties, not geographic proximity. Taking an endogenous growth perspective on the prevalence of obesity, we thus attempt to reveal a mechanism through which obesity may potentially develop into a sweeping epidemic. Our results also suggest an uphill battle against the obesity epidemic, and we recommend that its prevention be a high priority.

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    Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center in its series Research Reports with number 149944.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ags:uconnr:149944
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