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Effects of Family, Friends, and Relative Prices on Fruit and Vegetable Consumption by African American Youths

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  • Oleksandr Zhylyevskyy
  • Helen H. Jensen
  • Steven B. Garasky
  • Carolyn E. Cutrona
  • Frederick X. Gibbons

Abstract

Facilitating healthy eating among young people, particularly among minorities who are at high risk for gaining excess weight, is at the forefront of the current policy discussions in the U.S. We investigate the effects of social interactions and relative prices on fruit and vegetable consumption by African American youths. We estimate a simultaneous equation ordered probit model of food intake using rich behavioral data from the Family and Community Health Study and price data from the Economic Research Service's Quarterly Food-at-Home Price Database. We find the presence of endogenous effects between a youth and parent, but not between a youth and friend. Lower relative prices of fruits and vegetables tend to increase intakes. Results suggest that health interventions targeting only one family member may be a cost-effective way to increase fruit and vegetable intake by African Americans because of the existence of "spillover" consumption effects between the youths and their parents.

Suggested Citation

  • Oleksandr Zhylyevskyy & Helen H. Jensen & Steven B. Garasky & Carolyn E. Cutrona & Frederick X. Gibbons, 2010. "Effects of Family, Friends, and Relative Prices on Fruit and Vegetable Consumption by African American Youths," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 10-wp515, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ias:cpaper:10-wp515
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Laurian Unnevehr & James Eales & Helen Jensen & Jayson Lusk & Jill McCluskey & Jean Kinsey, 2010. "Food and Consumer Economics," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(2), pages 506-521.
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    4. Krauth, Brian V., 2006. "Simulation-based estimation of peer effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 243-271, July.
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    8. Powell, Lisa M. & Tauras, John A. & Ross, Hana, 2005. "The importance of peer effects, cigarette prices and tobacco control policies for youth smoking behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 950-968, September.
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    10. Harris, Jeffrey E. & González López-Valcárcel, Beatriz, 2008. "Asymmetric peer effects in the analysis of cigarette smoking among young people in the United States, 1992-1999," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 249-264, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    endogenous effects; fruit and vegetable consumption; healthy food choices; simultaneous equation ordered probit model; social interactions. JEL Codes: I12; J15; C35;

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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