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Abstract

Facilitating healthy eating among young people, particularly among minorities who are at high risk for gaining excess weight, is at the forefront of current policy discussions and food program reviews. We investigate the effects of social interactions and relative prices on fruit and vegetable consumption by African American youths using rich behavioral data from the Family and Community Health Study and area-specific food prices. We find the presence of endogenous effects between a youth and parent, but not between a youth and friend. Lower relative prices of fruits and vegetables tend to increase intakes. Results suggest that health interventions targeting a family member may be an effective way to increase fruit and vegetable intake by African Americans as a result of spillover consumption effects between the youths and parents.

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