Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 1-38

First online:

Federal nutrition programs and childhood obesity: inside the black box

  • Manan RoyAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, Southern Methodist University
  • , Daniel L. MillimetAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, Southern Methodist UniversityIZA Email author 
  • , Rusty TchernisAffiliated withGeorgia State UniversityNBER

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In response to the dramatic rise in childhood obesity, particularly among low income individuals, federal nutrition assistance programs have come under scrutiny. However, the vast majority of this research focuses on the direct relationship between these programs and child health, while little is known about the mechanisms by which such relationships arise. Using the 2007 American Time Use Survey and the Eating and Health Module, we explore differences in time use—albeit in a non-causal framework—across families that participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the School Breakfast Program, and the National School Lunch Program to better understand behavioral differences across participants and non-participants. These differences have important implications for future research and policy.


School Breakfast Program National School Lunch Program Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Time use Program evaluation

JEL Classifications

C31 H51 I18 I28