Food Prices and Blood Cholesterol
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.
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