Date of Graduation
Master of Science in Agricultural Economics (MS)
Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness
Rodolfo M. Nayga
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Bruce L. Dixon
This thesis examines whether children's food environment, especially food stores that have fresh produce, affects obesity prevalence among elementary school children in the state of Arkansas. Misclassified food outlet types in the Dun and Bradstreet commercial data set were first corrected and then food environment measures were computed and aggregated to geographic regions corresponding to school attendance areas. After applying classical panel estimation, it was found that the fixed effects model fit the data best. Results indicate that an additional supermarket within a one-mile radial of the census neighborhood block center will bring down childhood obesity prevalence by 0.58 percent, whereas associations between densities of supermarkets within farther buffers and children's overweight status were not found. In addition, distance from neighborhood block center to closest supermarkets did not seem to play a role in determining children's BMI, nor did presence of dollar, convenience and drug stores. Finally, fixed effects models incorporating spatial lags and spatial errors were estimated. Results showed no significant spatial effects.
Jiao, Yucong, "Food Environment and Childhood Obesity" (2012). Theses and Dissertations. 486.