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USDA's Healthy Eating Index and Nutrition Information

  • Variyam, Jayachandran N.
  • Blaylock, James R.
  • Smallwood, David M.
  • Basiotis, P. Peter

A comprehensive model is developed to measure the extent that nutrition knowledge and diet-health awareness, among other factors, influence an individual's Healthy Eating Index (HEI), USDA's measure of overall diet quality. This is the first study that rigorously attempts to examine variation in the index across population groups by controlling for personal and household characteristics and nutrition information levels, as well as test for the endogeneity of nutrition information. Results indicate that one's level of nutrition information has an important influence on one's HEI and that nutrition information and the HEI are simultaneously determined. Other factors explaining variations in HEI's across individuals are income and education levels, race, ethnicity, and age. Evidence supports the hypothesis that higher education promotes more healthful food choices through better acquisition and use of health information.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/33588
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Paper provided by United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in its series Technical Bulletins with number 33588.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:ags:uerstb:33588
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  1. Variyam, Jayachandran N. & Blaylock, James R. & Smallwood, David, 1997. "Diet-Health Information and Nutrition: The Intake of Dietary Fats and Cholesterol," Technical Bulletins 156800, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  2. Gould, Brian W. & Lin, Huei Chin, 1994. "Nutrition Information And Household Dietary Fat Intake," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 19(02), December.
  3. Jensen, Helen H. & Kesavan, T. & Johnson, Stanley R., 1992. "Measuring the Impact of Health Awareness on Food Demand," Staff General Research Papers 11239, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Pauline M. Ippolito & Alan D. Mathios, 1990. "Information, Advertising and Health Choices: A Study of the Cereal Market," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(3), pages 459-480, Autumn.
  5. Kenkel, D.S., 1988. "Health Behavior, Health Knowledge, And Schooling," Papers 10-88-3, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  6. Capps, Oral, Jr. & Schmitz, John D., 1991. "A Recognition Of Health And Nutrition Factors In Food Demand Analysis," Western Journal of Agricultural Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 16(01), July.
  7. Butler, J S & Raymond, Jennie E, 1996. "The Effect of the Food Stamp Program on Nutrient Intake," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(4), pages 781-98, October.
  8. Senauer, Benjamin & Garcia, Marito, 1991. "Determinants of the Nutrition and Health Status of Preschool Children: An Analysis with Longitudinal Data," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 371-89, January.
  9. Jensen, Helen H. & Yen, Steven & Wang, Qingbin, 1996. "Cholesterol Information and Egg Consumption in the U.S.: A Nonnormal and Heteroscedastic Double Hurdle Model," Staff General Research Papers 1056, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  10. Viscusi, W Kip, 1990. "Do Smokers Underestimate Risks?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1253-69, December.
  11. Moorman, Christine & Matulich, Erika, 1993. " A Model of Consumers' Preventive Health Behaviors: The Role of Health Motivation and Health Ability," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 208-28, September.
  12. Connor, John M, 1994. "North America as Precursor of Changes in Western European Food-Purchasing Patterns," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 21(2), pages 155-73.
  13. Jayachandran N. Variyam & James Blaylock & David Smallwood, 1996. "A Probit Latent Variable Model of Nutrition Information and Dietary Fiber Intake," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(3), pages 628-639.
  14. Pitt, Mark M & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1985. "Health and Nutrient Consumption across and within Farm Households," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(2), pages 212-23, May.
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