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A Silver Lining? The Connection Between Gasoline Prices and Obesity

I find evidence of a negative association between gasoline prices and body weight using a fixed effects model with several robustness checks. I also show that increases in gas prices are associated with additional walking and a reduction in the frequency with which people eat at restaurants, explaining their effect on weight. My estimates imply that 8% of the rise in obesity between 1979 and 2004 can be attributed to the concurrent drop in real gas prices, and that a permanent $1 increase in gasoline prices would reduce overweight and obesity in the U.S. by 7% and 10%.

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Paper provided by University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 09-1.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 24 Aug 2008
Date of revision: 01 Jan 2009
Handle: RePEc:ris:uncgec:2009_001
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