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Changing The Price Of Foods May Significantly Affect Americans' Weight

Date:
March 19, 2009
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
A new article explores how food prices can affect weight outcomes, revealing that pricing interventions can have a significant effect on obesity rates.

A new article published in The Milbank Quarterly explores how food prices can affect weight outcomes, revealing that pricing interventions can have a significant effect on obesity rates.

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Raising the prices of less healthy foods (e.g., fast foods and sugary products) and lowering the prices of healthier foods (e.g., fruits and vegetables) are associated with lower body weight and lesser likelihood of obesity. Children and adolescents, the poor, and those already at a higher weight are most responsive to these changes in prices.

Small taxes on unhealthy food items or small subsidies for healthy foods are not likely to produce substantial changes in BMI or obesity prevalence while nontrivial pricing interventions may have a measurable effect on Americans’ weight outcomes.

“This review provides evidence about the potential effectiveness of using food pricing policies to affect weight outcomes, including the potential impact of excise and other taxes on less healthy products and of subsidies for more healthy products,” the authors conclude.

This is the first comprehensive review of evidence on the effects of food prices on weight outcomes. Lisa Powell and Frank J. Chaloupka of the University of Illinois at Chicago assessed research published between 1990 and 2008 that involved weight and BMI in combination with pricing and taxes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Powell et al. Food Prices and Obesity: Evidence and Policy Implications for Taxes and Subsidies. Milbank Quarterly, 2009; 87 (1): 229 DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0009.2009.00554.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Changing The Price Of Foods May Significantly Affect Americans' Weight." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090318113610.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2009, March 19). Changing The Price Of Foods May Significantly Affect Americans' Weight. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090318113610.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Changing The Price Of Foods May Significantly Affect Americans' Weight." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090318113610.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

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