This dissertation analyzes determinants of obesity and a cash transfer policy to alleviate poverty and its effects on obesity. I used data from the United States and Mexico to highlight evidence from two countries that are neighbors but very different in their socio-economic makeup. In the first chapter, I examined the relationship between the number and type of food outlets in a neighborhood and dietary intake and body mass index (BMI) among adults in Los Angeles County. I also assessed whether this relationship depends on the geographic size of the food environment. In the second chapter, I investigated pathways linking consumer attitudes toward food (nutrition, taste, freshness, and preparation time) and BMI through physical activity and diet quality among adults in the United States. I found that the importance of nutrition relative to price is the only consumer attitude significantly associated with BMI and diet quality. In the third chapter, I analyzed the effects of a cash transfer program on the obesity and diet of a highly-vulnerable group in a middle income country: persons aged 70 and older in Mexico.
Mejia Gonzalez, Nelly Josefina, Three Essays on Obesity: Food Environment, Attitudes toward Food, and Cash Transfers. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2016. https://www.rand.org/pubs/rgs_dissertations/RGSD374.html.
Mejia Gonzalez, Nelly Josefina, Three Essays on Obesity: Food Environment, Attitudes toward Food, and Cash Transfers, RAND Corporation, RGSD-374, 2016. As of February 15, 2024: https://www.rand.org/pubs/rgs_dissertations/RGSD374.html