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

  • Zhylyevskyy, Oleksandr (Alex)
  • Jensen, Helen H.
  • Garasky, Steven
  • Cutrona, Carolyn E.
  • Gibbons, Frederick X.

Facilitating healthy eating among young people, particularly among minorities who are at high risk for gaining excess weight, is at the forefront of current policy discussions and food program reviews. We investigate the effects of social interactions and relative prices on fruit and vegetable consumption by African American youths using rich behavioral data from the Family and Community Health Study and area-specific food prices. 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 a family member may be an effective way to increase fruit and vegetable intake by African Americans as a result of spillover consumption effects between the youths and parents.

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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 32053.

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Date of creation: 23 Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:32053
Contact details of provider: Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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  1. Renna, Francesco & Grafova, Irina B. & Thakur, Nidhi, 2008. "The effect of friends on adolescent body weight," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 377-387, December.
  2. 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.
  3. Krauth, Brian V., 2006. "Simulation-based estimation of peer effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 243-271, July.
  4. Trogdon, Justin G. & Nonnemaker, James & Pais, Joanne, 2008. "Peer effects in adolescent overweight," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1388-1399, September.
  5. Shin-Yi Chou & Michael Grossman & Henry Saffer, 2002. "An Economic Analysis of Adult Obesity: Results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," NBER Working Papers 9247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lundborg, Petter, 2006. "Having the wrong friends? Peer effects in adolescent substance use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 214-233, March.
  7. Clark, Andrew E. & Loheac, Youenn, 2007. ""It wasn't me, it was them!" Social influence in risky behavior by adolescents," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 763-784, July.
  8. 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.
  9. Olof Åslund & Peter Fredriksson, 2009. "Peer Effects in Welfare Dependence: Quasi-Experimental Evidence," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
  10. 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.
  11. Scott E. Carrell & Frederick V. Malmstrom & James E. West, 2008. "Peer Effects in Academic Cheating," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
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