The Super Size of America: An Economic Estimation of Body Mass Index and Obesity in Adults

28 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2005 Last revised: 28 Aug 2010

See all articles by Inas Kelly

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

Shin-Yi Chou

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

Date Written: August 2005

Abstract

The increased prevalence of obesity in the United States stresses the pressing need for answers as to why this rapid rise has occurred. This paper employs micro-level data from the First, Second, and Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys to determine the effects that various state-level variables have on body mass index and obesity. These variables, which include the per capita number of restaurants, the gasoline tax, the cigarette tax, and clean indoor air laws, display many of the expected effects on obesity and explain a substantial amount of its trend. These findings control for individual-level measures of household income, years of formal schooling completed, and marital status.

Suggested Citation

Kelly, Inas and Grossman, Michael and Chou, Shin-Yi, The Super Size of America: An Economic Estimation of Body Mass Index and Obesity in Adults (August 2005). NBER Working Paper No. w11584. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=795268

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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Shin-Yi Chou

Lehigh University - Department of Economics ( email )

620 Taylor Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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