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The Effects of Food Stamps on Obesity

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  • Charles L. Baum II

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles L. Baum II, 2010. "The Effects of Food Stamps on Obesity," Working Papers 201003, Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:mts:wpaper:201003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Tiehen, Laura & Jolliffe, Dean & Gundersen, Craig, 2012. "How State Policies Influence the Efficacy of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Reducing Poverty," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124937, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Lorenzo Almada & Ian McCarthy & Rusty Tchernis, 2016. "What Can We Learn about the Effects of Food Stamps on Obesity in the Presence of Misreporting?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 98(4), pages 997-1017.
    3. Rusty Tchernis & Lorenzo N. Almada, 2016. "Measuring Effects of SNAP on Obesity at the Intensive Margin," Working Papers 2016-019, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    4. Charles Baum, 2012. "The effects of food stamp receipt on weight gained by expectant mothers," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(4), pages 1307-1340, October.
    5. Chad D. Meyerhoefer & Muzhe Yang, 2011. "The Relationship between Food Assistance and Health: A Review of the Literature and Empirical Strategies for Identifying Program Effects," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 33(3), pages 304-344.
    6. Matthew J. Salois & Kelvin G. Balcombe, 2015. "A Generalized Bayesian Instrumental Variable Approach under Student t-distributed Errors with Application," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 83(5), pages 499-522, September.
    7. Charles L. Baum & Shin-Yi Chou, 2016. "Why has the prevalence of obesity doubled?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 251-267, June.
    8. Charles L. Baum & Shin-Yi Chou, 2011. "The Socio-Economic Causes of Obesity," NBER Working Papers 17423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Zhuo Chen & Qi Zhang, 2011. "Nutrigenomics Hypothesis: Examining the Association Between Food Stamp Program Participation and Bodyweight Among Low-Income Women," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 508-520, September.
    10. Huang, Ying & Huffman, Wallace, 2013. "Forward Looking Decision Making: The Effects of the Food Stamp Program Participation on Women’s Obesity in the NLSY," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150264, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    11. Courtemanche, Charles & Pinkston, Joshua C. & Stewart, Jay, 2015. "Adjusting body mass for measurement error with invalid validation data," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 275-293.
    12. Alston, Julian M. & Sumner, Daniel A. & Vosti, Stephen A., 2008. "Farm subsidies and obesity in the United States: National evidence and international comparisons," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 470-479, December.
    13. Zagorsky, Jay L. & Smith, Patricia K., 2009. "Does the U.S. Food Stamp Program contribute to adult weight gain?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 246-258, July.
    14. Han, Euna & Powell, Lisa M. & Pugach, Oksana, 2011. "The heterogenous relationship of food stamp participation with body mass: Quantile regression model," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 499-506, August.
    15. Charles L. Baum II, 2010. "The Effects of Food Stamps on Weight Gained by Expectant Mothers," Working Papers 201002, Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance.
    16. Burney, Shaheer, 2015. "Household Consumption Responses to SNAP Participation," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205326, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    17. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:75:y:2018:i:c:p:134-146 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Alston, Julian M. & Mullally, Conner C. & Sumner, Daniel A. & Townsend, Marilyn & Vosti, Stephen A., 2009. "Likely effects on obesity from proposed changes to the US food stamp program," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 176-184, April.
    19. Salois, Matthew & Balcombe, Kelvin, 2011. "Do Food Stamps Cause Obesity? A Generalised Bayesian Instrumental Variable Approach in the Presence of Heteroscedasticity," MPRA Paper 28745, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Vassilopoulos, Achilleas & Drichoutis, Andreas & Nayga, Rodolfo & Lazaridis, Panagiotis, 2011. "Does the Food Stamp Program Really Increase Obesity? The Importance of Accounting for Misclassification Errors," MPRA Paper 28768, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Wilson, Norbert L. W. & Zheng, Yuqing & Burney, Shaheer & Kaiser, Harry M., 2016. "Do Grocery Food Sales Taxes Cause Food Insecurity?," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235324, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    22. March, Raymond J. & Lyford, Conrad P. & Carpio, Carlos E. & Boonsaeng, Tullaya, 2016. "Do SNAP Recipients Get the Best Prices?," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 236213, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    23. Burgstahler, Rebecca & Gundersen, Craig & Garasky, Steven B., 2012. "The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Financial Stress, and Childhood Obesity," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 1-14, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Food stamps; weight; obesity; BMI;

    JEL classification:

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

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