Take off the heater: Utility effect and food environment effect in food consumption decisions
AbstractIn this paper, we describe individual food consumption decisions as driven by a utility effect and a food environment effect. To outline the utility effect, we first develop a new theoretical model of individual food consumption. Next, we introduce the food environment effect by showing how the food environment can affect food consumption decisions and how this can skew the resulting food consumption vector. Finally, we analyse manipulations of the food environment as a potential form of policy intervention. Our key result is that the food environment has several entry points in food consumption decisions and that libertarian paternalistic manipulations of the food environment can be effective, easily implemented, well-accepted and low-cost intervention options to nudge individuals towards healthier food consumption. Thus, a first step in interventions meant to improve diets should always be to attend to the food environment: at the very least to “take off the heater” and ensure that the food environment does not inadvertently guide food consumption decisions in an undesirable direction.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by European Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 115th Joint EAAE/AAEA Seminar, September 15-17, 2010, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany with number 116431.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
behavioural economics; bounded rationality; bounded self-control; cognitive biases; food choice; food consumption; food environment; food intake; health; identity; social norms; visceral factors; Agricultural and Food Policy; Consumer/Household Economics; Demand and Price Analysis; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Food Security and Poverty; Health Economics and Policy; D03; D11; I18; Z13;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Economics; Underlying Principles
- D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
- I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Unnevehr, Laurian J. & Jagmanaite, Evelina, 2008. "Getting rid of trans fats in the US diet: Policies, incentives and progress," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 497-503, December.
- Rodolfo M. Nayga, 2008. "Nutrition, obesity and health: policies and economic research challenges," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 35(3), pages 281-302, September.
- Kinsey, Jean D. & Mancino, Lisa, 2002. "Diet Quality And Calories Consumed: The Impact Of Being Hungrier, Busier And Eating Out," Working Papers 14324, University of Minnesota, The Food Industry Center.
- Cass R. Sunstein & Richard H. Thaler, 2003.
"Libertarian paternalism is not an oxymoron,"
Conference Series ; [Proceedings],
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jun.
- Brian Wansink & David R. Just & Collin R. Payne, 2009. "Mindless Eating and Healthy Heuristics for the Irrational," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 165-69, May.
- Alan Kirman & Miriam Teschl, 2006. "Searching for identity in the capability space," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 299-325.
- Costa-Font, J. & Jofre-Bonet, M., 2010. "Body image, peer effects and food disorders: Evidence from a sample of European women," Working Papers 10/01, Department of Economics, City University London.
- Joan Costa-i-Font & Mireia Jofre-Bonet, 2008.
"Body Image and Food Disorders: Evidence from a Sample of European Women,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
2412, CESifo Group Munich.
- Joan Costa i Font & Mireia Jofre-Bonet, 2008. "Body image and food disorders: Evidence from a sample of European women," Working Papers 2008-30, FEDEA.
- George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
- John B. Davis, 2005.
"Social Identity Strategies in Recent Economics,"
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers
05-078/2, Tinbergen Institute.
- Just, David R. & Wansink, Brian & Mancino, Lisa & Guthrie, Joanne F., 2008. "Behavioral Economic Concepts To Encourage Healthy Eating in School Cafeterias: Experiments and Lessons From College Students," Economic Research Report 56489, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
- Brekke, Kjell Arne & Kverndokk, Snorre & Nyborg, Karine, 2003.
"An economic model of moral motivation,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 1967-1983, September.
- George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2002. "Identity and Schooling: Some Lessons for the Economics of Education," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1167-1201, December.
- Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. " Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
- Kahn, Barbara E & Wansink, Brian, 2004. " The Influence of Assortment Structure on Perceived Variety and Consumption Quantities," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(4), pages 519-33, March.
- Just, David R. & Wansink, Brian, 2009. "Smarter Lunchrooms: Using Behavioral Economics to Improve Meal Selection," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 24(3).
- Just, David R. & Mancino, Lisa & Wansink, Brian, 2007. "Could Behavioral Economics Help Improve Diet Quality for Nutrition Assistance Program Participants?," Economic Research Report 6391, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
- Mancino, Lisa & Kinsey, Jean D., 2008. "Is Dietary Knowledge Enough? Hunger, Stress, and Other Roadblocks to Healthy Eating," Economic Research Report 56465, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.