Do school lunches contribute to childhood obesity?

Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper assesses whether school lunches contribute to childhood obesity. I employ two methods to isolate the causal impact of school lunches on obesity. First, using panel data, I find that children who consume school lunches are more likely to be obese than those who brown bag their lunches even though they enter kindergarten with the same obesity rates. Second, I leverage the sharp discontinuity in eligibility for reduced-price lunch to compare children just above and just below the eligibility cutoff. Students are more likely to be obese, and weigh more if they are income-eligible for reduced price school lunches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)684-709
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Human Resources
Volume44
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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