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

45 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2020 Last revised: 18 Dec 2022

See all articles by Shin-Yi Chou

Shin-Yi Chou

Lehigh University

Inas Kelly

Loyola Marymount University; National Bureau of Economic Research

Michael Grossman

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

Date Written: December 2005

Abstract

Childhood obesity around the world, and particularly in the United States, 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 fast-food restaurant advertising on children and adolescents being overweight. The advertising measure used is the number of hours of spot television fast-food restaurant advertising messages seen per week. Our results indicate that a ban on these advertisements would reduce the number of overweight children ages 3-11 in a fixed population by 10 percent and would reduce the number of overweight adolescents ages 12-18 by 12 percent. The elimination of the tax deductibility of this type of advertising would produce smaller declines of between 3 and 5 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.

Suggested Citation

Chou, Shin-Yi and Kelly, Inas and Grossman, Michael, Fast-Food Restaurant Advertising on Television and its Influence on Childhood Obesity (December 2005). NBER Working Paper No. w11879, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3628919

Shin-Yi Chou (Contact Author)

Lehigh University ( email )

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Inas Kelly

Loyola Marymount University ( email )

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Michael Grossman

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