An economic analysis of adult obesity: Results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
Publication Source

Journal of Health Economics

Journal article
The Americas
Economy status
High-income economies
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This paper examines the factors that may be responsible for the 50% increase in the number of obese adults in the US since the late 1970s. We employ the 1984-1999 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, augmented with state level measures pertaining to the per capita number of fast-food and full-service restaurants, the prices of a meal in each type of restaurant, food consumed at home, cigarettes, and alcohol, and clean indoor air laws. Our main results are that these variables have the expected effects on obesity and explain a substantial amount of its trend.