Relative food prices and obesity in US Metropolitan areas: 1976-2001
Xu, X.; Variyam, J.N.; Zhao, Z.; Chaloupka, F.J.
PloS one 9(12): e114707
ISSN/ISBN: 1932-6203 PMID: 25502888 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114707
This study investigates the impact of food price on obesity, by exploring the co-occurrence of obesity growth with relative food price reduction between 1976 and 2001. Analyses control for female labor participation and metropolitan outlet densities that might affect body weight. Both the first-difference and fixed effects approaches provide consistent evidence suggesting that relative food prices have substantial impacts on obesity and such impacts were more pronounced among the low-educated. These findings imply that relative food price reductions during the time period could plausibly explain about 18% of the increase in obesity among the U.S. adults in metropolitan areas.