Start Date: September 2008

ID #: 65068

Principal Investigator: Michael Grossman, PhD

Co-Principal Investigator: Erdal Tekin, PhD

Organization: National Bureau of Economic Research

Funding Round: Round 3

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The aim of this project is to provide a comprehensive investigation of the relationship between food prices and food advertising on childhood obesity using multiple data sources that span the period of the last three decades, as well as using the latest advances in technology for measuring obesity and physical fitness among children. More specifically, this work involves: (a) developing a method for imputing children’s body composition to serve as an alternative to BMI-based obesity measures and to make these measures available for social scientists who study childhood obesity using social science datasets, (b) using body composition measures to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the effects of food prices, food outlets, and fast-food restaurant advertising on television on obesity among children ages 8-18; (c) examining whether the effects of food prices and food advertising on obesity differ between adolescents from low socio-economic backgrounds and other adolescents; and (d) testing the sensitivity of these findings against previous research using BMI.

Related Research

January 2014

Food Prices and Body Fatness among Youths

This paper examines the effects of food prices on clinical measures of obesity, including body mass index (BMI) and percentage body fat (PBF) measures derived from bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), among youths ages 12 to 18. Using three waves of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data (1999-2000, More

January 2014

How Food Prices Impact Body Fat

A sedentary lifestyle lacking physical activity, and consumption of calorie-dense foods and sugary drinks, have long been associated with obesity. But studies indicate that the inflation-adjusted cost of food, which has been falling, is also contributing to the recent epidemic of obesity. This issue brief highlights the results of a study published in Economics and More

December 2012

Fast-Food Restaurant Advertising on Television and Its Influence on Youth Body Composition. Working Paper 18640

This paper discusses the results of the first study to analyze the effects of fast-food advertising on body composition among youths as measured by percentage body fat (PBF). The study also examined the sensitivity of these effects to measuring youth obesity using body mass index (BMI). Researchers found that exposure to fast-food restaurant advertising on More