Do Income Constraints Inhibit Spending on Fruits and Vegetables among Low-Income Households?

By Stewart, Hayden; Blisard, Noel et al. | Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, December 2003 | Go to article overview

Do Income Constraints Inhibit Spending on Fruits and Vegetables among Low-Income Households?


Stewart, Hayden, Blisard, Noel, Jolliffe, Dean, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics


This study assesses whether income constraints inhibit spending on fruits and vegetables among low-income households. If this is the case, then it is hypothesized that the distribution of expenditures on fruits and vegetables by low-income households should be stochastically dominated by the distribution of expenditures on these same food items by other households. Moreover, it must be the case that low-income households would increase their spending on fruits and vegetables in response to an increase in their income. Using household data from the 2000 Consumer Expenditure Survey, a test of stochastic dominance is performed. Censored quantile regressions are also estimated at selected points of the conditional expenditure distribution. Low-income households are found to spend less on fruits and vegetables than other households, but they are not responsive to changes in income.

Key words: censored least absolute deviations, consumption, fruits and vegetables, low-income households, nutrition, sample design, stochastic dominance

Introduction

In recent years, both public and private organizations have noted that typical Americans do not consume enough of most types of fruits and vegetables to meet the recommended dietary intake as outlined in the Federal Food Guide Pyramid. Kantor reports that, except for potatoes, American households need to increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables. Echoing Kantor's findings, the Produce for Better Health Foundation found only 38% of all individuals consume the recommended number of servings of vegetables, while only 23% consume the recommended number of servings of fruit.

Krebs-Smith et al. document that members of low-income households on average consume even smaller quantities of fruits and vegetables than members of other households. One explanation for this finding may be that low-income households cannot afford fruits and vegetables. Focus group studies of low-income consumers identify the cost of such food as an obstacle to fruit and vegetable consumption (Bradbard et al.; Shankar and Klassen). However, these same analyses also identify other obstacles, including the time required to prepare fruits and vegetables as compared with convenience foods, the need to provide food acceptable to children, taste preferences for other types of food, and too little information about how to purchase and prepare nutritious foods. (See Blaylock et al. for a survey of the many factors determining a household's food choices.)

The existing literature is not clear about why low-income households tend to consume less fruits and vegetables per person than their higher income counterparts. Only a few researchers have examined the income elasticity of demand for fruits and vegetables among households at different income levels. When studying low-income households, empirical evidence of a strong association between an increase in income and the demand for fruits and vegetables would support the argument that an inability to pay for fruits and vegetables is an important obstacle to improved diets. Evidence of no income effect would be more supportive of the notion that other issues, such as taste preferences or a lack of nutritional knowledge, are the primary deterrents to a more healthy diet.

Park et al. found the demand of low-income households for produce is more responsive to a marginal change in income than that of other households. Evidence presented by Raper, Wanzala, and Nayga suggests low-income and other households similarly increase their expenditures on fruits and vegetables with a marginal increase in total food expenditures. However, these findings contrast with implications drawn from research on the Food Stamp Program. Wilde, McNamara, and Ranney argue that food stamps are not associated with higher levels of fruit and vegetable consumption; rather, recipient households tend to consume more meats, added sugars, and total fats.

Discrepancies between the findings in the above studies may reflect the modeling procedures employed. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Do Income Constraints Inhibit Spending on Fruits and Vegetables among Low-Income Households?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.