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A Longitudinal Analysis of Fast-Food Exposure On Child Weight Outcomes: Identifying Causality Through School Transitions

Author

Listed:
  • Dunn, Richard A.

    () (University of Connecticut)

  • Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr.

    () (Bates College)

  • Thomsen, Michael

    () (University of Arkansas)

  • Heather L. Rouse

    () (University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences)

Abstract

This paper employs a novel identification strategy based on changes in the route students would use to commute between their home and their school as they transition to higher grades housed in different schools to investigate the effect of fast-food availability on childhood weight outcomes by gender, race and location. Using a longitudinal census of height and weight for public school students in Arkansas, we find no evidence that changes in fast-food exposure are associated with changes in BMI z-score. Our findings suggest that laws restricting fast-food restaurants from areas near schools are neither effective nor efficient means of improving public health.

Suggested Citation

  • Dunn, Richard A. & Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr. & Thomsen, Michael & Heather L. Rouse, 2014. "A Longitudinal Analysis of Fast-Food Exposure On Child Weight Outcomes: Identifying Causality Through School Transitions," Working Papers 34, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:zwi:wpaper:34
    as

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    File URL: http://zwickcenter.uconn.edu/working_papers_5_1900180306.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Richard A. Dunn, 2010. "The Effect of Fast-Food Availability on Obesity: An Analysis by Gender, Race, and Residential Location," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1149-1164.
    2. Janet Currie & Stefano DellaVigna & Enrico Moretti & Vikram Pathania, 2010. "The Effect of Fast Food Restaurants on Obesity and Weight Gain," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 32-63, August.
    3. repec:mpr:mprres:3740 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2008.137638_9 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Schwerdt, Guido & West, Martin R., 2013. "The impact of alternative grade configurations on student outcomes through middle and high school," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 308-326.
    6. Michael L. Anderson & David A. Matsa, 2011. "Are Restaurants Really Supersizing America?," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 152-188, January.
    7. Rockoff, Jonah E. & Lockwood, Benjamin B., 2010. "Stuck in the middle: Impacts of grade configuration in public schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 1051-1061, December.
    8. Graddy, Kathryn, 1997. "Do Fast-Food Chains Price Discriminate on the Race and Income Characteristics of an Area?," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(4), pages 391-401, October.
    9. John L. Park & Rodney B. Holcomb & Kellie Curry Raper & Oral Capps, 1996. "A Demand Systems Analysis of Food Commodities by U.S. Households Segmented by Income," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(2), pages 290-300.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fast-food; childhood obesity;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R40 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - General

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