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The Impact of Price Reductions on Individuals' Choice of Healthy Meals Away from Home

Food high in energy but low in nutritional value is an important contributor to several serious illnesses, and one type of food that is particularly high in energy but low in nutrition is food consumed away from home. In this paper, we examine the demand and willingness to pay for healthy, Keyhole-labelled meals. A Keyhole-labelled meal is particularly low in calories, fat, sugar and salt, but particularly high in fibre. The results suggest that to get the majority of individuals to choose the healthy option regularly it would be necessary to alter the relative price between healthy and less healthy meals. Generally groups of individuals with a poor nutritional intake require a larger compensation (subsidy) before they choose the healthy alternative. About one third of respondents would choose the healthy option regularly if the prices for a healthy and less healthy meal were the same. In particular groups of individuals who already have a relatively good nutritional intake would select the healthy option. Groups with a generally poor nutritional intake (men and individuals with lower education and lower income) would gain health benefits from a subsidy of Keyhole-labelled meals.

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Paper provided by Lund University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2013:21.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 18 Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2013_021
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund,Sweden
Phone: +46 +46 222 0000
Fax: +46 +46 2224613
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  1. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521142373 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Thunström, Linda & Nordström, Jonas, 2012. "Does Easily Accessible Nutritional Labelling Increase Consumption of Healthy Meals away from Home? - A Field Experiment Measuring the Impact of a Point-of-Purchase Healthy Symbol on Lunch Sales," HUI Working Papers 55, HUI Research.
  3. Barbara Wagner & Benjamin Senauer & C. Ford Runge, 2007. "An Empirical Analysis of and Policy Recommendations to Improve the Nutritional Quality of School Meals," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 29(4), pages 672-688.
  4. Lin, Biing-Hwan & Frazao, Elizabeth & Guthrie, Joanne F., 1999. "Away-From-Home Foods Increasingly Important to Quality of American Diet," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33733, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  5. Julie S. Downs & George Loewenstein & Jessica Wisdom, 2009. "Strategies for Promoting Healthier Food Choices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 159-64, May.
  6. Inas Rashad, 2006. "Structural Estimation of Caloric Intake, Exercise, Smoking, and Obesity," NBER Working Papers 11957, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Shin-Yi Chou & Michael Grossman & Henry Saffer, 2002. "An Economic Analysis of Adult Obesity: Results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," NBER Working Papers 9247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521194204 is not listed on IDEAS
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