Adult obesity and the price and availability of food in the United States

Lisa M. Powell, Euna Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The public health risks associated with obesity are numerous and include premature death, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, among others. Economic contextual factors such as food prices, food store availability, and restaurant availability are increasingly being posited and explored as possible explanations for increased obesity rates in the US. Previous studies have examined the relationship between food prices, availability, and adult weight using cross-sectional data, and most have examined either food prices or availability but have not controlled for both. The empirical results from this study suggest that food price and availability measures play a limited role in the weight outcomes of US adult men and women, in general, although there are some significant effects for certain subpopulations. Fast-food prices are not found to be associated with male or female adult weight in any of the models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-384
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Research Initiative of the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, grant number 2005-35215-15372. We also are grateful to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Bridging the Gap ImpacTeen project for making the price and outlet density data available to us.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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