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Food prices and blood cholesterol

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  • Rahkovsky, Ilya
  • Gregory, Christian A.

Abstract

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) cost Americans billions of dollars per year. High cholesterol levels, which are closely related to dietary habits, are a major contributor to CVD. In this article, we study whether changes in food prices are related to cholesterol levels and whether taxes or subsidies on particular foods would be effective in lowering cholesterol levels and, consequently, CVD costs. We find that prices of vegetables, processed foods, whole milk and whole grains are significantly associated with blood cholesterol levels. Having analyzed the costs and benefits of government interventions, we find that a subsidy of vegetables and whole grains would be an efficient way to reduce CVD expenditures.

Suggested Citation

  • Rahkovsky, Ilya & Gregory, Christian A., 2013. "Food prices and blood cholesterol," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 95-107.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:11:y:2013:i:1:p:95-107
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2012.01.004
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nie, Peng & Li, Qing & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2019. "In Search of China's Income-Health Gradient: A Biomarker-Based Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 12165, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Gregory, Christian & Rahkovsky, Ilya & Anekwe, Tobenna D., 2014. "Consumers’ Use of Nutrition Information When Eating Out," Economic Information Bulletin 174796, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Lin, Biing-Hwan & Dong, Diansheng & Carlson, Andrea & Rahkovsky, Ilya, 2017. "Potential dietary outcomes of changing relative prices of healthy and less healthy foods: The case of ready-to-eat breakfast cereals," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 77-88.
    4. Davillas, A.; Jones, A.M.; Benzeval, M.;, 2017. "The income-health gradient: Evidence from self-reported health and biomarkers using longitudinal data on income," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 17/04, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    5. Wilson, Norbert L. W. & Zheng, Yuqing & Burney, Shaheer & Kaiser, Harry M., 2016. "Do Grocery Food Sales Taxes Cause Food Insecurity?," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 235324, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Capacci, Sara & Leucci, Anna Caterina & Mazzocchi, Mario, 2018. "There is no such thing as a (gluten-)free lunch: Higher food prices and the cost for coeliac consumers," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 84-91.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Food prices; Blood cholesterol; Cardiovascular disease; Food subsidy; Food tax;

    JEL classification:

    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other

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