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Obesity and Diabetes, the Built Environment, and the ‘Local’ Food Economy


  • Matthew, Salois


Obesity and diabetes are increasingly attributed to environmental factors, however, little attention has been paid to influence of the 'local' food economy. This paper examines the association of measures relating to the built environment and the ‘local’ food economy with county-level prevalence of obesity and diabetes. Key indicators of the ‘local’ food economy include the density of farmers’ markets, volume of direct farm sales, and presence of farm-to-school programs. This paper employs a robust regression estimator to account for non-normality of the data and to accommodate outliers. Overall, the built environment is strongly associated with prevalence of obesity and diabetes and a strong 'local' food economy may play an important role in prevention. Results imply considerable scope for community-level interventions.

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  • Matthew, Salois, 2010. "Obesity and Diabetes, the Built Environment, and the ‘Local’ Food Economy," MPRA Paper 27945, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:27945

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Costa-Font, Joan & Gil, Joan, 2005. "Obesity and the incidence of chronic diseases in Spain: A seemingly unrelated probit approach," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 188-214, July.
    2. Eid, Jean & Overman, Henry G. & Puga, Diego & Turner, Matthew A., 2008. "Fat city: Questioning the relationship between urban sprawl and obesity," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 385-404, March.
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    5. Courtemanche, Charles & Carden, Art, 2011. "Supersizing supercenters? The impact of Walmart Supercenters on body mass index and obesity," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 165-181, March.
    6. 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.
    7. Catherine Dehon & Marjorie Gassner & Vincenzo Verardi, 2009. "Beware of 'Good' Outliers and Overoptimistic Conclusions," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(3), pages 437-452, June.
    8. Susan Chen & Raymond J. G. M. Florax & Samantha Snyder & Christopher C. Miller, 2010. "Obesity and Access to Chain Grocers," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 86(4), pages 431-452, October.
    9. Zaman, Asad & Rousseeuw, Peter J. & Orhan, Mehmet, 2001. "Econometric applications of high-breakdown robust regression techniques," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 1-8, April.
    10. Zhao, Zhenxiang & Kaestner, Robert, 2010. "Effects of urban sprawl on obesity," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 779-787, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brunello, Giorgio & De Paola, Maria & Labartino, Giovanna, 2014. "More apples fewer chips? The effect of school fruit schemes on the consumption of junk food," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 114-126.

    More about this item


    community-level intervention; diabetes; food environment; farmers market; leverage points; local food; robust regression; obesity; outliers;

    JEL classification:

    • C10 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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