Prices of Unhealthy Foods, Food Stamp Program Participation, and Body Weight Status Among U.S. Low-Income Women

Qi Zhang, Zhuo Chen, Norou Diawara, Youfa Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper examines the interactive effect between the price of unhealthy foods and Food Stamp Program participation on body weight status among low-income women in the United States. We merged the panel data of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 cohort in 1985-2002 and the Cost of Living Index data compiled by the American Chamber of Commerce Researchers Association by using geographic identifiers. Using the merged data, we used panel econometric models to examine the impact of unhealthy food prices on the food stamp-eligible U. S. population. Our results indicate that higher prices for unhealthy food can partially offset the positive association between Food Stamp Program participation and bodyweight among low-income women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-256
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Family and Economic Issues
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011



  • Body mass index
  • Food prices
  • Food stamp program
  • Obesity
  • Socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics

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