The Effect of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program on Childhood Obesity

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Abstract

This paper investigates how the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), a nutrition assistance program that provides funding for the distribution of free fresh fruits and vegetables to students in participating schools, affects childhood obesity using a panel data set of Arkansas public schoolchildren with two different approaches. First, we combine matching methodology and difference-in-differences (DID) analysis. Second, we use the synthetic control method to compare each FFVP participating school to a similar, albeit synthetic, control school. Both analyses show that FFVP program causes an economically meaningful reduction in the obesity outcome of participating children.

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