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Economic Aspects of Food Safety and Nutritional Behaviour: A Research Agenda

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  • Campo, Isabelle Schluep

Abstract

The problem of overweight / obesity is increasing in Switzerland, especially among children. A comparison with the US shows that although the share of obese adults in Switzerland is significantly lower than in the US, Switzerland might soon catch up with the US rates of obesity. Overweight / obesity does not only occur in the Western World. In fact, many developing countries face a double burden of undernourishment and overweight / obesity. Market failure plays an important role in many respects: There is an information asymmetry with, for example, missing labeling of restaurant food - which leads to inadequate food choices. The external costs of eating too many calories are not included in the market prices. This means that also people with healthy weights have to bear obesity-related health costs, etc. Considering market failure and the children's welfare as a social task, governmental intervention is justified (e.g. taxes, subsidies, insurance solution). Overweight / obesity is a complex problem that cannot be solved with the introduction of one measure alone. Therefore it is also up to research to refocus. Prevention alone is not enough - there must be additional, farther reaching measures. In terms of sustainable nutrition, a paradigm shift regarding the definition of food safety is required. It is not only about the safe provision but also the safe consumption of food.

Suggested Citation

  • Campo, Isabelle Schluep, 2005. "Economic Aspects of Food Safety and Nutritional Behaviour: A Research Agenda," Agrarwirtschaft und Agrarsoziologie\ Economie et Sociologie Rurales, Swiss Society for Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, vol. 2005(Number 1), pages 1-20.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:agrarw:32011
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/32011/files/05010003.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 93-118, Summer.
    2. Kinsey, Jean D., 2004. "Does Food Safety Conflict With Food Security? The Safe Consumption Of Food," Working Papers 14326, University of Minnesota, The Food Industry Center.
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