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Association between Hourly Wages and Dietary Intake after the First Phase of Implementation of the Minneapolis Minimum Wage Ordinance


Chapman, Leah Elizabeth; Berkowitz, Seth A.; Ammerman, Alice S.; De Marco, Molly; Ng, Shu Wen; Zimmer, Catherine R.; & Caspi, Caitlin E. (Online ahead of print). Association between Hourly Wages and Dietary Intake after the First Phase of Implementation of the Minneapolis Minimum Wage Ordinance. Public Health Nutrition.


OBJECTIVE: In 2018, Minneapolis began phased implementation of an ordinance to increase the local minimum wage to $15/h. We sought to determine whether the first phase of implementation was associated with changes in frequency of consumption of fruits and vegetables (F&V), whole-grain-rich foods, and foods high in added sugars among low-wage workers.
DESIGN: Natural experiment.
SETTING: The Wages Study is a prospective cohort study of 974 low-wage workers followed throughout the phased implementation of the ordinance (2018-2022). We used difference-in-difference analysis to compare outcomes among workers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to those in a comparison city (Raleigh, North Carolina). We assessed wages using participants' pay stubs and dietary intake using the National Cancer Institute Dietary Screener Questionnaire.
PARTICIPANTS: Analyses use the first two waves of Wages data (2018 (baseline), 2019) and includes 267 and 336 low-wage workers in Minneapolis and Raleigh, respectively.
RESULTS: After the first phase of implementation, wages increased in both cities, but the increase was $0·84 greater in Minneapolis (P = 0·02). However, the first phase of the policy's implementation was not associated with changes in daily frequency of consumption of F&V (IRR = 1·03, 95 % CI: 0·86, 1·24, P = 0·73), whole-grain-rich foods (IRR = 1·23, 95 % CI: 0·89, 1·70, P = 0·20), or foods high in added sugars (IRR = 1·13, 95 % CI: 0·86, 1·47, P = 0·38) among workers in Minneapolis compared to Raleigh.
CONCLUSIONS: The first phase of implementation of the Minneapolis minimum wage policy was associated with increased wages, but not with changes in dietary intake. Future research should examine whether full implementation is associated dietary changes.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Article Type


Year Published

Online ahead of print

Journal Title

Public Health Nutrition


Chapman, Leah Elizabeth
Berkowitz, Seth A.
Ammerman, Alice S.
De Marco, Molly
Ng, Shu Wen
Zimmer, Catherine R.
Caspi, Caitlin E.

Data Set/Study

The Wages Study


United States of America


North Carolina