Hungry for More: The Effects of Grocery Store Density and SNAP Participation on U.S. Adult Obesity Rates Open Access

Fang, Stephanie (2015)

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Food access and affordability have been documented to influence consumption behaviors and subsequently weight outcomes. This study examines how access and affordability function as obesogenic factors with a focus on access to grocery stores and SNAP participation. Using data from the United States Department of Agriculture's Food Environment Atlas, this study employs Ordinary Least Square models to observe the relationship between grocery store access and obesity outcomes in counties across the United States. As a secondary line of research, this study observes the interaction effect between grocery store access and SNAP participation on obesity outcomes. I find that grocery store access has a strong negative effect on obesity outcomes. The interaction of grocery store access and SNAP participation also has a negative effect on obesity outcomes, suggesting that areas with high food access and more food purchasing power experience lower obesity outcomes. These results have crucial policy implications for how government agencies administer programs that aim to increase food access and affordability.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction 1

II. Literature 4

III. Methods 11

IV. Results and Discussion 13

V. Sensitivity Analysis 19

VI. Conclusion 23

VII. Works Cited 27

VIII. Tables 29

IX. Appendix 44

X. Footnotes 48

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