TELEVISION VIEWING, FAST‐FOOD CONSUMPTION, AND CHILDREN’S OBESITY
Hung-Hao Chang () and
Contemporary Economic Policy, 2009, vol. 27, issue 3, 293-307
Childhood obesity is rising in Taiwan and is becoming a major public health issue. This article examines the effect of children’s TV viewing and fast‐food consumption on childhood obesity. Using a nationwide survey data in Taiwan and a two‐step estimation procedure, our results show that TV viewing hours and fast‐food consumption are correlated. After controlling for the endogeneity, we find these two activities positively contribute to children’s body weight and the increased risk of being overweight. Results suggest that public health/childhood obesity programs should educate parents of the critical influence of TV viewing and fast‐food consumption on childhood obesity. The government can also encourage the fast‐food industry to develop and sell healthier foods for children and provide point of sale nutritional information of these products. (JEL I12, I18)
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