Fast-Food Restaurant Advertising on Television and its Influence on Childhood Obesity
Posted: 28 Sep 2007
Childhood obesity around the world is an escalating problem that is especially detrimental as its effects carry on into adulthood. In this paper we employ the 1979 Child-Young Adult National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to estimate the effects of television fast-food restaurant advertising on children and adolescents being overweight. A ban on these advertisements would reduce the number of overweight children ages 3-11 in a fixed population by 18 percent and would reduce the number of overweight adolescents ages 12-18 by 14 percent. The elimination of the tax deductibility of this type of advertising would produce smaller declines of between 5 and 7 percent in these outcomes but would impose lower costs on children and adults who consume fast food in moderation because positive information about restaurants that supply this type of food would not be banned completely from television.
Keywords: obesity, advertising, fast-food restaurants, government regulation
JEL Classification: I10, I12, I18, K00, K20
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