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J Health Econ. 2008 Jan;27(1):45-68. Epub 2007 Apr 20.

Determining the impact of food price and income changes on body weight.

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  • 1Arkansas State University, College of Agriculture, State University, AR 72467, USA.


We develop a theoretical model to identify conditions under which price and income changes are most likely to change weight. Although it is intuitive that raising the price of high-calorie food will decrease consumption of such goods; it is not clear that such an outcome will actually reduce weight. Our empirical analysis demonstrates a case where a tax on food away from home, a food intake category blamed for much of the rise in obesity, could lead to an increase in body weight; a finding which emphasizes the need to employ economic modeling when developing public policy to reduce obesity.

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