Impact of Access to Healthy Food and Lifestyle on Obesity: The Evidence from U.S. Counties

The intent of the present article is to measure the economic impact of access to healthy food on obesity. This study uses a linear regression econometrics model to achieve this purpose. Obesity is considered as the dependent variable and a number of other factors such as the number and availability of farmers markets and Community Supported Agriculture programs in the U.S., the number and accessibility of fast food restaurants, and the availability of recreation and fitness facilities are considered as independent variables. Using the USDA county level data, the results show that beyond access to healthy food, many other factors explain the observed variations in obesity rates in the model. Moreover, the results indicate that the increase of household income and the increase of full service restaurants both have a negative impact on obesity rate. It was also observed that age plays a significant role in explaining obesity with people over 65 who likely eat healthier than people under the age of 18. This study also discusses the factors contributing to the change in obesity rates in order to promote a quality healthy life.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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