Agricultural Information Bulletin No. (AIB-791) 24 pp

October 2004

The Role of Economics in Eating Choices and Weight Outcomes

This report uses data from the USDA's 1994-96 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals and the 1994-96 Diet and Health Knowledge Survey to ascertain whether economic factors help explain weight differences among adults. Weight differs among demographic subgroups, and differences in specific behaviors, health awareness, and eating patterns can be linked to weight outcomes. An economic framework helps explain how socioeconomic factors affect an individual's ability to achieve good health. Our results suggest that income, household composition, and formal education help explain variation in behaviors and attitudes that are significantly associated with weight outcomes.

Keywords: obesity, Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals, CSFII, Diet and Health Knowledge Survey, DHKS, weight, age, income, education, race, ethnicity, overweight, nutrition knowledge

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