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Obesity And Nutrient Consumption: A Rational Addiction?

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

"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.

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Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Contemporary Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 25 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (07)
Pages: 309-324

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Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:25:y:2007:i:3:p:309-324
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