Food deserts and childhood obesity

Pedro A. Alviola, Rodolfo M. Nayga, Michael Thomsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


We utilize a panel data set from 2007 to 2009 on the state of Arkansas to identify and determine the effect of food deserts on school district obesity rates. We define food deserts as low-income areas with limited food access. Using both classical panel data models and spatial error models, we find no statistically significant relationship between school district obesity rates and the existence of food deserts in Arkansas. This finding is consistent across different model specifications, in spatial, panel or cross-sectional analysis, and with or without urban school districts in the data.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberpps035
Pages (from-to)106-124
Number of pages19
JournalApplied Economic Perspectives and Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Mar


  • Childhood obesity
  • Food deserts
  • Panel regression methods
  • Panel spatial error models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Economics and Econometrics


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