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Can adherence to dietary guidelines address excess caloric intake? An empirical assessment for the UK

  • Srinivasan, C.S.
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    The facilitation of healthier dietary choices by consumers is a key element of government strategies to combat the rising incidence of obesity in developed and developing countries. Public health campaigns to promote healthier eating often target compliance with recommended dietary guidelines for consumption of individual nutrients such as fats and added sugars. This paper examines the association between improved compliance with dietary guidelines for individual nutrients and excess calorie intake, the most proximate determinant of obesity risk. We apply quantile regressions and counterfactual decompositions to cross-sectional data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2000–01) to assess how excess calorie consumption patterns in the UK are likely to change with improved compliance with dietary guidelines. We find that the effects of compliance vary significantly across different quantiles of calorie consumption. Our results show that compliance with dietary guidelines for individual nutrients, even if successfully achieved, is likely to be associated with only modest shifts in excess calorie consumption patterns. Consequently, public health campaigns that target compliance with dietary guidelines for specific nutrients in isolation are unlikely to have a significant effect on the obesity risk faced by the population.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1570677X13000385
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 574-591

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:11:y:2013:i:4:p:574-591
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

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    1. Smith Trenton G. & Stoddard Christiana & Barnes Michael G, 2009. "Why the Poor Get Fat: Weight Gain and Economic Insecurity," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 1-31, June.
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    3. Komlos, John & Brabec, Marek, 2011. "The trend of BMI values of US adults by deciles, birth cohorts 1882-1986 stratified by gender and ethnicity," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 234-250, July.
    4. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521845731 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Sandy, Robert & Tchernis, Rusty & Wilson, Jeffrey & Liu, Gilbert & Zhou, Xilin, 2013. "Effects of the built environment on childhood obesity: The case of urban recreational trails and crime," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 18-29.
    6. José Mata & José A. F. Machado, 2005. "Counterfactual decomposition of changes in wage distributions using quantile regression," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 445-465.
    7. Chou, Shin-Yi & Grossman, Michael & Saffer, Henry, 2004. "An economic analysis of adult obesity: results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 565-587, May.
    8. Jayachandran N. Variyam & James Blaylock & David Smallwood, 2002. "Characterizing the Distribution of Macronutrient Intake among U.S. Adults: A Quantile Regression Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(2), pages 454-466.
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    10. Salois, Matthew J., 2012. "Obesity and diabetes, the built environment, and the ‘local’ food economy in the United States, 2007," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 35-42.
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