Food Spending and Household Health
Dmitry Tumin, Ohio State University
Rachel Tumin, Ohio State University
Michael Nau, Ohio State University
Nutrition assistance programs seek to improve Americans’ health by increasing their spending on food consumed at home and substituting eating at home for dining out. We assess if higher spending on food consumed at home is associated with better health. We analyze data from the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (N=3,583) and the 2004 and 2007 Surveys of Consumer Finances (N=7,224). We fit ordinal logistic models to assess the link between food budgets and respondent-rated general health in each sample. Given a fixed food budget, a 10% increase in the portion spent on eating at home predicts lower odds of better individual health (OR=0.93, 95% CI=(0.88-0.99)) and household health (OR=0.95, 95% CI=(0.91-0.99)). Net of income and education, we find no evidence that higher spending on food consumed at home is associated with better health. On the contrary, higher spending on dining out may be associated with better health.
Presented in Session 188: Education and Health Behaviors