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Effects of Family, Friends, and Relative Prices on Fruit and Vegetable Consumption by African Americans

Oleksandr Zhylyevskyy (), Helen Jensen (), Steven B. Garasky (), Carolyn E. Cutrona () and Frederick X. Gibbons ()
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Steven B. Garasky: SIMPAQ International, LLC, 10420 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 310, Columbia, MD 21044, USA;
Carolyn E. Cutrona: Department of Psychology, Iowa State University, W161 Lagomarcino, Ames, IA 50011, USA;
Frederick X. Gibbons: Department of Psychology, Bousfield Hall, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA; E-mail:

Southern Economic Journal, 2013, vol. 80, issue 1, 226-251

Abstract: We investigate the effects of parents, best friends, and relative prices on fruit and vegetable consumption by African American youths using behavioral data from the Family and Community Health Study and area-specific food prices from the Quarterly Food-at-Home Price Database. We construct a simultaneous equation ordered probit model that accounts for social interactions in fruit and vegetable consumption and specific aspects of the available food intake data. We estimate statistically significant endogenous consumption effects between a youth and a parent. Lower relative prices tend to increase intakes, particularly in the case of vegetables; however, the statistical significance of these effects is marginal. The results indicate the existence of social multipliers in fruit and vegetable consumption in African American families. The presence of these multipliers supports the design of youth-parent–based interventions to increase fruit and vegetable intake by African Americans. Additionally, intake also may be increased through relative price reductions.

JEL-codes: I12 J15 C35 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:80:1:y:2013:p:226-251