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Fast-Food Restaurant Advertising on Television and Its Influence on Youth Body Composition

Author

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  • Grossman, Michael

    (CUNY Graduate Center)

  • Tekin, Erdal

    (American University)

  • Wada, Roy

    (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Abstract

We examine the effects of fast-food restaurant advertising on television on the body composition of adolescents as measured by percentage body fat (PBF) and to assess the sensitivity of these effects to using conventional measures of youth obesity based on body-mass index (BMI). We merge measures of body composition from bioelectrical-impedance analysis (BIA) and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey with individual level data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 and data on local fast-food restaurant advertising on television from Competitive Media Reporting. Exposure to fast-food restaurant advertising on television causes statistically significant increases in PBF in adolescents. These results are consistent with those obtained by using BMI-based measures of obesity. The responsiveness to fast-food advertising is greater for PBF than for BMI. Males are more responsive to advertising than females regardless of the measure. A complete advertising ban on fast-food restaurants on television would reduce BMI by 2 percent and PBF by 3 percent. The elimination of the tax deductibility of food advertising costs would still leave a considerable number of youth exposed to fast-food advertising on television but would still result in non-trivial reductions in obesity.

Suggested Citation

  • Grossman, Michael & Tekin, Erdal & Wada, Roy, 2012. "Fast-Food Restaurant Advertising on Television and Its Influence on Youth Body Composition," IZA Discussion Papers 7099, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7099
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Wada, Roy & Tekin, Erdal, 2010. "Body composition and wages," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 242-254, July.
    2. Chou, Shin-Yi & Grossman, Michael & Saffer, Henry, 2004. "An economic analysis of adult obesity: results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 565-587, May.
    3. Shin-Yi Chou & Inas Rashad & Michael Grossman, 2008. "Fast-Food Restaurant Advertising on Television and Its Influence on Childhood Obesity," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(4), pages 599-618, November.
    4. Andreyeva, Tatiana & Kelly, Inas Rashad & Harris, Jennifer L., 2011. "Exposure to food advertising on television: Associations with children's fast food and soft drink consumption and obesity," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 221-233, July.
    5. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Cawley, John, 2008. "Beyond BMI: The value of more accurate measures of fatness and obesity in social science research," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 519-529, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Okrent, Abigail M. & Kumcu, Aylin, 2016. "U.S. Households’ Demand for Convenience Foods," Economic Research Report 262195, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Lucas Adrienne M. & Wilson Nicholas L., 2019. "Does Television Kill Your Sex Life? Microeconometric Evidence from 80 Countries," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 19(4), pages 1-16, October.
    3. Okrent, Abigail & Kumcu, Aylin, 2014. "What’s Cooking? Demand for Convenience Foods in the United States," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170541, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Grossman, Michael & Tekin, Erdal & Wada, Roy, 2014. "Food prices and body fatness among youths," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 4-19.
    5. Qihua Qiu & Jaesang Sung, 2021. "The effects of graduated driver licensing on teenage body weight," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(11), pages 2829-2846, November.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    body composition; BMI; fast-food; obesity; television; advertising;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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