Economic preferences and obesity in a low income african american community
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Economic Preferences and Obesity in a Low-Income African-American Community. Angela de Oliveira, Tammy Leonard, Kerem Shuval , Celette Skinner, James Murdoch, Catherine Eckel. Health and the Project. Unique population with high policy interest Multifaceted data collection effort

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Economic Preferences and Obesity in a Low-Income African-American Community

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Economic preferences and obesity in a low income african american community

Economic Preferences and Obesity in a Low-Income African-American Community

Angela de Oliveira, Tammy Leonard, KeremShuval, Celette Skinner, James Murdoch, Catherine Eckel


Health and the project

Health and the Project

  • Unique population with high policy interest

  • Multifaceted data collection effort

  • Interdisciplinary research team: Health researchers with economists, psychologists

  • Many different measures related to well-being

    • Physical environment

    • Household survey

    • Health behavior

    • Incentivized preference measures

  •  OPPORTUNITY to study obesity

  • We ask: Why is obesity higher among low-income African Americans?


Obesity and preferences

Obesity and Preferences

  • Economists believe behavior is driven by underlying preferences

  • Risk aversion: avoiding risk motivates safe, cautious behavior

  • Patience: a long-run perspective motivates behavior that makes future outcomes better

  • Both lead to healthier behavioral choices


Obesity

Obesity


Risk measure

Risk Measure

Valencia 2011 Trust


Risk preferences

Risk Preferences

Valencia 2011 Trust


Time preferences

Time Preferences

Valencia 2011 Trust


Economic preferences and obesity in a low income african american community

Data

  • 496 participants completed household survey

  • 198 of these completed incentivized tasks; 156 complete data

  • Primary dependent variable: Obesity

  • Secondary dependent variables:

    • Exercise: 38% yes

    • TV: Mean = 5.7 hours/wk

  • Data analysis strategy: predict obesity category

  • Primary independent variables: Risk tolerance, Patience

  • Controls: Gender, race, age, income, marital status, children, health insurance, unemployed, self-reported health status


Results

Results

  • Risk:

  • Positively related to Obesity

  • Positively related to Exercise

  • Positively related to TV

  • Patience:

  • No relationship to Obesity

  • Positively related to Exercise

  • No relationship to TV


Conclusion

Conclusion

  • Risk tolerance is related to obesity, despite also being related to exercise; Sedentary behavior may play a more important role

  • No relationship between patience and obesity for this population

    • In another study, patience is related to exercise.

  • Participants who believe their health is good are MORE likely to be obese, but also to exercise.

  • Policy implications:

    • Efforts to reduce risk and encourage physical activity may reduce obesity

    • Information may impact perceptions of future consequences of unhealthy behaviors

    • Direct measurement and examination of economic preferences might lead to a more targeted approach at applying behavioral economic concepts to health issues.


Related papers

Related papers

  • Leonard, Tammy, KeremShuval, Angela de Oliveira, CeletteSugg Skinner, Catherine Eckel, James C. Murdoch. (2012) “Health Behavior and Behavioral Economics: Economic Preferences and Physical Activity Stages of Change in a Low-Income African American Community.” Forthcoming, American Journal of Health Promotion, forthcoming.

  • Shuval, K., Leonard, T., Skinner, C., Caughy, M., Kohl, H., Murdoch, J.C. (2012). “Sedentary Behaviors And Obesity Among A Low Income, Ethnic Minority Population.” Journal of Physical Activity and Health, In Press.

  • Leonard, T.C.M., Caughy, M.O., Mays, J.K., Murdoch, J.C. (2011). “Systemic Neighborhood Observations at High Spatial Resolution: Methodology and Assessment of Potential Benefits.” PLoS ONE 6(6): e20225.doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020225.

  • Leonard, T.C.M., Croson, R.T.A., Oliviera, A.C.M. (2010). “Social Capital and Public Goods.” Journal of Socio-Economics Vol. 39 Issue 4.


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