IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedhwp/wp-04-16.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Reading, writing, and raisinets: are school finances contributing to children’s obesity?

Author

Listed:
  • Patricia M. Anderson
  • Kristin F. Butcher

Abstract

The proportion of adolescents in the United States who are obese has nearly tripled over the last two decades. At the same time, schools, often citing financial pressures, have given students greater access to “junk” foods and soda pop, using proceeds from these sales to fund school programs. We examine whether schools under financial pressure are more likely to adopt potentially unhealthful food policies. Next, we examine whether students’ Body Mass Index (BMI) is higher in counties where a greater proportion of schools are predicted to allow these food policies. Because the financial pressure variables that predict school food policies are unlikely to affect BMI directly, this two step estimation strategy addresses the potential endogeneity of school food policies. ; We find that a 10 percentage point increase in the proportion of schools in a county that allow students access to junk food leads to about a one percent increase in students’ BMI, on average. However, this average effect is entirely driven by adolescents who have an overweight parent, for whom the effect of such food policies is much larger (2.2%). This suggests that those adolescents who have a genetic or family susceptibility to obesity are most affected by the school food environment. A rough calculation suggests that the increase in availability of junk foods in schools can account for about one-fifth of the increase in average BMI among adolescents over the last decade.

Suggested Citation

  • Patricia M. Anderson & Kristin F. Butcher, 2004. "Reading, writing, and raisinets: are school finances contributing to children’s obesity?," Working Paper Series WP-04-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-04-16
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.chicagofed.org/digital_assets/publications/working_papers/2004/wp2004_16.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Eric A. Hanushek & Margaret E. Raymond, 2002. "Improving educational quality: how best to evaluate our schools," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, pages 193-247.
    2. Downes, Thomas A. & Figlio, David N., 1999. "Do Tax and Expenditure Limits Provide a Free Lunch? Evidence on the Link Between Limits and Public Sector Service Quality," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, pages 113-128.
    3. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 2002. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 88-97, January.
    4. Patricia M. Anderson & Kristin F. Butcher & Phillip B. Levine, 2003. "Economic perspectives on childhood obesity," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q III, pages 30-48.
    5. Downes, Thomas A. & Figlio, David N., 1999. "Do Tax and Expenditure Limits Provide a Free Lunch? Evidence on the Link Between Limits and Public Sector Service Quality," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 1), pages 113-28, March.
    6. Anderson, Patricia M. & Butcher, Kristin F. & Levine, Phillip B., 2003. "Maternal employment and overweight children," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 477-504, May.
    7. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2003:93:7:1168-1173_5 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Levy, Amnon, 2007. "A theoretical analysis of rational diet of healthy and junk foods," Economics Working Papers wp07-01, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
    2. Grainger, Corbett & Senauer, Benjamin & Runge, C. Ford, 2005. "Analyzing Health Innovations in a School Lunch Program," Working Papers 14393, University of Minnesota, Center for International Food and Agricultural Policy.
    3. Janet Currie & Stefano DellaVigna & Enrico Moretti & Vikram Pathania, 2010. "The Effect of Fast Food Restaurants on Obesity and Weight Gain," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, pages 32-63.
    4. Currie, Janet & DellaVigna, Stefano & Moretti, Enrico & Pathania, Vikram, 2009. "The Effect of Fast Food Restaurants on Obesity," Working Papers 47830, American Association of Wine Economists.
    5. Janet Currie & Stefano DellaVigna & Enrico Moretti & Vikram Pathania, 2010. "The Effect of Fast Food Restaurants on Obesity and Weight Gain," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, pages 32-63.
    6. Levy, Amnon, 2006. "Junk Food, Health and Productivity: Taste, Price, Risk and Rationality," Economics Working Papers wp06-22, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Overweight children ; Education ; Junk food;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-04-16. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bernie Flores). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/frbchus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.