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 Human Biology which estimates the effects of food prices on body fat percentage (body composition). The study found that an increase in the price of calorie-dense food from fast-food restaurants (through higher taxes or other ways), may help in reducing obesity rates among youths. Similarly, lowering the cost of fruits or vegetables through price subsidies may help in reducing obesity rates.
How Food Prices Impact Body Fat
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 … More
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 … More
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 … More