Food Prices and Obesity


The main purpose of this proposed study is to explore the effects of food prices, both prices of food at home and prices of food away from home on the upward obesity trend since 1970s, using nationally representative data from the National Health Interview Survey and food prices from several resources. Specifically, the objectives are:

  1. To estimate the effects of relative prices of food at home and food away from home across Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) on the obesity growth.
  2. To estimate how the variation in real prices (i.e. prices relative to costs of living) of food at home and food away from home across MSAs relates to the obesity growth.
  3. To estimate the effect of relative prices of healthful and unhealthful food prices across MSAs and over time on the obesity growth.
  4. To examine whether the effects between food prices and obesity differ by other important demographic characteristics, including gender, age, race, and education attainment.

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The end date for the grant funding this work was extended with no additional money.