Obesity among Poor Americans Is Public Assistance the Problem?

ISBN-10: 082651636X

ISBN-13: 9780826516367

Edition: 2009

List price: $22.95
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Description: Obesity costs our society billions of dollars a year in lost productivity and medical expenses, roughly half of which the federal government pays through Medicare and Medicaid. We know obesity plagues the poor more than the non-poor and poor women more than poor men. Poor women make up the majority of adult welfare recipients--coincidence or causal connection?This book investigates the controversial claim by welfare critics that public assistance programs like Food Stamps and the National School Lunch programs contribute to obesity among the poor. The author synthesizes empirical evidence from an array of disciplines--anthropology, economics, epidemiology, medicine, nutrition science, marketing, psychology, public health, sociology, and urban planning--to test this claim and to test whether other causal processes are at work.With a lucid presentation that makes it a model for applying research to questions of social policy, the book lays out the different hypotheses and the possible causal pathways within each. The four central chapters test whether "public assistance causes obesity," "obesity causes public assistance," "poverty causes both public assistance and obesity," and "Factor X causes both." The factors in the last category that may relate to both public assistance and obesity include stress, disability, and physical abuse.

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Book details

List price: $22.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press
Publication date: 7/11/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 200
Size: 5.75" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.594
Language: English

Patricia K. Smith is Professor of Economics at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Trends in Obesity, Poverty, and Public Assistance
The "Public Assistance Causes Obesity" Hypothesis
The "Obesity Causes Public Assistance" Hypothesis
The "Poverty Causes Both Public Assistance and Obesity" Hypothesis
The "Factor X Causes Both Public Assistance and Obesity" Hypothesis
Common Threads and Conclusions
Notes
References
Index
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