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Economic factors affecting the increase in obesity in the United States: Differential response to price

Miljkovic, D., Nganje, W., De Chastenet, H.
Food policy 2008 v.33 no.1 pp. 48-60
foods, economic impact, obesity, diet-related diseases, overweight, food prices, portion size, eating habits, food choices, public health, food policy, sweets, high energy diet
A sharp increase in obesity during the last 15 years in the United States became one of the nation's main public health problems. The theory of rational addiction seems to explain human behavior in food consumption leading to obesity reasonably well. The interesting thing about our results is that the tax policy, normally used to correct various distortions, is to serve in this case as the preventive policy: additional taxes on future prices of the addictive (sweet) foods contribute to lower sugar consumption and BMI at present time. On the other hand, increasing education level is usually considered a preventive type of policy. In this case, it leads to lowering the levels of the BMI in already overweight and obese population.