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The Effects of Food Stamps on Obesity

  • Charles L. Baum II

Poverty has historically been associated with a decrease in food consumption. This at least partially changed in 1964 when the Food Stamp Act began guaranteeing food for those in poverty. Since the Act’s passage, the prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically, particularly among those with low incomes. This paper examines the effects of the Food Stamp Program on the prevalence of obesity using 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth data. Results indicate food stamps have significant positive effects on obesity and the obesity gap for females, but these effects are relatively small and such benefits, consequently, are approximated to have played a minor role in increasing obesity at the aggregate level.

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Paper provided by Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 201003.

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Date of creation: Feb 2010
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Handle: RePEc:mts:wpaper:201003
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.mtsu.edu/~berc/working/Economics_Working_Papers.html
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  1. Diane Whitmore, 2002. "What Are Food Stamps Worth?," Working Papers 847, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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  3. Parke Wilde & Mark Nord, 2005. "The Effect of Food Stamps on Food Security: A Panel Data Approach ," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 27(3), pages 425-432.
  4. Gundersen, Craig & Kreider, Brent, 2006. "Food Stamps and Food Insecurity: What Can Be Learned in the Presence of Non-Classical Measurement Error?," Staff General Research Papers 12690, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  5. Dean Jolliffe, 2004. "Continuous and robust measures of the overweight epidemic: 1971–2000," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 303-314, May.
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  8. Meyerhoefer, Chad D. & Pylypchuk, Vuriy, 2008. "AJAE Appendix: Does Participation in the Food Stamp Program Increase the Prevalence of Obesity and Health Care Spending?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics Appendices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(2), May.
  9. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2002. "The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination," Working Papers 0203, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  10. Bollinger, Christopher R & David, Martin H, 2001. "Estimation with Response Error and Nonresponse: Food-Stamp Participation in the SIPP," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(2), pages 129-41, April.
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  15. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2007. "Labor Supply and Weight," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(1).
  16. Dean Jolliffe & James P. Ziliak (ed.), 2008. "Income volatility and Food Assistance in the United States," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number ivfa, November.
  17. Parke E. Wilde & Paul E. McNamara & Christine K. Ranney, 1999. "The Effect of Income and Food Programs on Dietary Quality: A Seemingly Unrelated Regression Analysis with Error Components," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(4), pages 959-971.
  18. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  19. John Cawley, 2000. "Body Weight and Women's Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 7841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. James P. Ziliak & Craig Gundersen & David N. Figlio, 2003. "Food Stamp Caseloads over the Business Cycle," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 903-919, April.
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