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Obesity And Nutrient Consumption: A Rational Addiction?

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  • TIMOTHY J. RICHARDS
  • PAUL M. PATTERSON
  • ABEBAYEHU TEGENE

Abstract

"Recent research shows that the dramatic rise in obesity in the United States is due more to the overconsumption of unhealthy foods than underactivity. This study tests for an addiction to food nutrients as a potential explanation for the apparent excessive consumption. A random coefficients (mixed) logit model is used to test a multivariate rational addiction model. The results reveal a particularly strong addiction to carbohydrates. The implication of this finding is that price-based policies, sin taxes, or produce subsidies that change the expected future costs and benefits of consuming carbohydrate-intensive foods may be effective in controlling excessive nutrient intake. "("JEL "D120, I120, C230) Copyright 2007 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy J. Richards & Paul M. Patterson & Abebayehu Tegene, 2007. "Obesity And Nutrient Consumption: A Rational Addiction?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(3), pages 309-324, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:25:y:2007:i:3:p:309-324
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    Cited by:

    1. Allender, William J. & Richards, Timothy J., 2009. "Measures of Brand Loyalty," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49536, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Michelle S. Goeree & John C. Ham & and Daniela Iorio, 2009. "Caught in the Bulimic Trap? Socioeconomic Status, State Dependence, and Unobserved Heterogeneity," Working Papers 386, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    3. Georgia S. Papoutsi & Andreas C. Drichoutis & Rodolfo M. Nayga Jr., 2013. "The Causes Of Childhood Obesity: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(4), pages 743-767, September.
    4. Xiaoou Liu & Rigoberto Lopez, 2012. "Evidence of rational addiction to carbonated soft drinks?," China Agricultural Economic Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 4(3), pages 300-317, August.
    5. Zhen Miao & John C. Beghin & Helen H. Jensen, 2012. "Taxing Sweets: Sweetener Input Tax Or Final Consumption Tax?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(3), pages 344-361, July.
    6. Zhen Miao & John C. Beghin & Helen H. Jensen, 2013. "Accounting For Product Substitution In The Analysis Of Food Taxes Targeting Obesity," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(11), pages 1318-1343, November.
    7. Lakdawalla, Darius & Philipson, Tomas, 2009. "The growth of obesity and technological change," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 283-293, December.
    8. Linda Thunström, 2010. "Preference Heterogeneity and Habit Persistence: The Case of Breakfast Cereal Consumption," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 76-96.
    9. Cash, Sean B. & Lacanilao, Ryan D., 2007. "Taxing Food to Improve Health: Economic Evidence and Arguments," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(02), pages 174-182, October.
    10. Michelle S. Goeree & John C. Ham & Daniela Iorio, 2009. "Caught in the bulimic trap? Persistence and state dependence of bulimia among young women," IEW - Working Papers 447, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich, revised Jul 2012.
    11. Békési, Dániel & Loy, Jens-Peter & Weiss, Christoph, 2013. "State Dependence and Preference Heterogeneity: The Hand of the Past on Breakfast Cereal Consumption," 87th Annual Conference, April 8-10, 2013, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 158699, Agricultural Economics Society.
    12. Tomas J. Philipson & Richard A. Posner, 2008. "Is the Obesity Epidemic a Public Health Problem? A Review of Zoltan J. Acs and Alan Lyles's Obesity, Business and Public Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 974-982, December.
    13. Ljungvall, Åsa & Gerdtham, Ulf-G., 2010. "More equal but heavier: A longitudinal analysis of income-related obesity inequalities in an adult Swedish cohort," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 221-231, January.
    14. Chavas, Jean-Paul, 2013. "On the microeconomics of food and malnutrition under endogenous discounting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 80-96.
    15. Chen Zhen & Michael K. Wohlgenant, 2006. "Meat Demand under Rational Habit Persistence," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 54(4), pages 477-495, December.
    16. Michelle S. Goeree, 2009. "Caught in the Bulimic Trap: Do Eating Disorders Reflect Addictive Behavior?," 2009 Meeting Papers 241, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    17. Kolosnitsyna, Marina & Berdnikova, Arina, 2009. "Overweight: What Are its Costs and What Could Be Done?," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 15(3), pages 72-93.
    18. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:75:y:2018:i:c:p:134-146 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Liaukonyte, Jura & Rickard, Bradley J. & Kaiser, Harry M. & Richards, Timothy J., 2010. "Evaluating advertising strategies for fruits and vegetables and the implications for obesity in the United States," Working Papers 126972, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    20. Xiaoou, Liu, 2009. "Rational Addiction Evidence From Carbonated Soft Drinks," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51620, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    21. Rhodes, Charles, 2010. "Demographic Variability In U.S. Consumer Responsiveness To Carbonated Soft-Drink Marketing Practices," 115th Joint EAAE/AAEA Seminar, September 15-17, 2010, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany 116419, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

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