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Food Prices and Blood Cholesterol

Author

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  • Rahkovsky, Ilya
  • Gregory, Christian A.

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

  • Rahkovsky, Ilya & Gregory, Christian A., 2011. "Food Prices and Blood Cholesterol," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103566, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea11:103566
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Powell, Lisa M. & Bao, Yanjun, 2009. "Food prices, access to food outlets and child weight," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 64-72, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    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. 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, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235324, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cholesterol; CVD; cardio-vascular; food prices; health; welfare; Agricultural and Food Policy; Consumer/Household Economics; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Health Economics and Policy; D04; D12; D62; H23; I19; Q18;

    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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