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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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    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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