Youths at Nutritional Risk: Malnourished or Misnourished?

56 Pages Posted: 16 May 2000 Last revised: 17 Oct 2010

See all articles by Jay Bhattacharya

Jay Bhattacharya

Stanford University - Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Janet Currie

Princeton University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Date Written: May 2000

Abstract

We use data from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to examine the prevalence and determinants of poor nutritional outcomes among American youths. One strength of our analysis is that we focus on an array of nutritional outcomes, and we find in fact that the determinants of these outcomes vary considerably form outcome to outcome. We interpret our results using a model in which investments in health capital are affected by both resource constraints and a human capital production function that summarizes available nutrition information. We find that although many youths suffer from nutrient deficiencies, these conditions are not generally sensitive to measures of resource constraints, and hence are unlikely to be due solely to a shortage of food. Conversely, we find that our proxies for information matter. Our results suggest that broad-based policies designed to alter the composition of the diet may hold the greatest promise for addressing the nutritional problems of American youths.

Suggested Citation

Bhattacharya, Jayanta and Currie, Janet, Youths at Nutritional Risk: Malnourished or Misnourished? (May 2000). NBER Working Paper No. w7686, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=228159

Jayanta Bhattacharya (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research ( email )

Center for Health Policy
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United States
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Janet Currie

Princeton University ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States
6092587393 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.princeton.edu/~jcurrie

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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