Fast-Food Restaurant Advertising on Television and its Influence on Childhood Obesity

Posted: 28 Sep 2007

See all articles by Shin-Yi Chou

Shin-Yi Chou

Lehigh University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Inas Kelly

National Bureau of Economic Research; Loyola Marymount University

Michael Grossman

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), NY Office; CUNY The Graduate Center - Department of Economics

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Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Chou, Shin-Yi and Kelly, Inas and Grossman, Michael, Fast-Food Restaurant Advertising on Television and its Influence on Childhood Obesity. Journal of Law and Economics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1017839

Shin-Yi Chou

Lehigh University - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Inas Kelly

National Bureau of Economic Research ( email )

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Loyola Marymount University ( email )

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Michael Grossman (Contact Author)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), NY Office ( email )

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