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Economic assessment of nutritional recommendations

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  • Irz, Xavier
  • Leroy, Pascal
  • Réquillart, Vincent
  • Soler, Louis-Georges

Abstract

The effect of consumers’ compliance with nutritional recommendations is uncertain because of potentially complex substitutions. To lift this uncertainty, we adapt a model of consumer behaviour under rationing to the case of linear nutritional constraints. Dietary adjustments are thus derived from information on consumer preferences, consumption levels, and nutritional contents of foods. A calibration exercise simulates, for different income groups, how the French diet would respond to various nutrition recommendations, and those behavioural adjustments are translated into health outcomes through the DIETRON epidemiological model. This allows for the ex-ante comparison of the efficiency, equity and health effects of ten nutritional recommendations. Although most recommendations impose significant taste costs on consumers, they are highly cost-effective, with the recommendations targeting salt, saturated fat, and fruits and vegetables (F&V) ranking highest in terms of efficiency. A five percent change in consumption of any of those nutrients or food would reduce premature mortality in excess of 2100 lives annually. By contrast, urging consumers to modify their consumption of fibers, sugar-fat products and dietary cholesterol is unlikely to be socially desirable, often due to large unintended adjustments in some dimensions of dietary quality. Most recommendations are economically progressive, with the exception of that targeting F&V.

Suggested Citation

  • Irz, Xavier & Leroy, Pascal & Réquillart, Vincent & Soler, Louis-Georges, 2014. "Economic assessment of nutritional recommendations," TSE Working Papers 14-473, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  • Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:27927
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Monika Zurek & Aniek Hebinck & Adrian Leip & Joost Vervoort & Marijke Kuiper & Maria Garrone & Petr Havlík & Thomas Heckelei & Sara Hornborg & John Ingram & Anneleen Kuijsten & Lindsay Shutes & Johann, 2018. "Assessing Sustainable Food and Nutrition Security of the EU Food System—An Integrated Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(11), pages 1-16, November.
    2. Stéphan Marette, 2017. "Jill E. Hobbs, Stavroula Malla, Eric K. Sogah and May T. Yeung, 2014, Regulating Health Foods. Policy Challenges and Consumer Conundrums," Review of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Studies, Springer, vol. 98(1), pages 93-94, July.
    3. Requillart, V. & Irz, X. & Jensen, J. & Leroy, P. & Soler, L.-G., 2018. "Promoting Climate-Friendly Diets: What Should We Tell Consumers in Demark, Finland and France?," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277057, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Doro, Erica & Réquillart, Vincent, 2018. "Sustainable diets: are nutritional objectives and low-carbon-emission objectives compatible?," TSE Working Papers 18-913, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    5. Irz, Xavier & Mazzocchi, Mario & Réquillart, Vincent & Soler, Louis-Georges, 2015. "Research in Food Economics: past trends and new challenges," Revue d'Etudes en Agriculture et Environnement, Editions NecPlus, vol. 96(01), pages 187-237, March.
    6. Linda Cobiac & Xavier Irz & Pascal Leroy & Vincent Requillart & Peter Scarborough & Louis Georges Soler, 2019. "Accounting for consumers’ preferences in the analysis of dietary recommendations," Post-Print hal-02244975, HAL.
    7. Revoredo-Giha, C. & Akaichi, F. & Toma, L., 2018. "Exploring the effects of increasing underutilized crops on consumers diets: The case of millet in Uganda," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277447, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    8. Rutten, Martine & Achterbosch, Thom J. & de Boer, Imke J.M. & Cuaresma, Jesus Crespo & Geleijnse, Johanna M. & Havlík, Petr & Heckelei, Thomas & Ingram, John & Leip, Adrian & Marette, Stéphan & van Me, 2018. "Metrics, models and foresight for European sustainable food and nutrition security: The vision of the SUSFANS project," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 45-57.
    9. Irz, Xavier & Leroy, Pascal & Réquillart, Vincent & Soler, Louis-Georges, 2016. "Welfare and sustainability effects of dietary recommendations," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 139-155.
    10. Irz, Xavier & Jensen, Jørgen Dejgaard & Leroy, Pascal & Réquillart, Vincent & Soler, Louis-Georges, 2017. "A Cross-Country Comparison of the Sustainability Effects of Dietary Recommendations," 2017 International Congress, August 28-September 1, 2017, Parma, Italy 261114, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    11. Anders, Sven & Schroeter, Christiane, 2015. "The Impact of Nutritional Supplement Choices on Diet Behavior and Obesity Outcomes," 2016 Allied Social Sciences Association (ASSA) Annual Meeting, January 3-5, 2016, San Francisco, California 212806, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    12. Chalmers, N. & Revoredo-Giha, C., 2018. "Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption whilst incorporating consumer preferences," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277060, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    food choice; diet; rationing; norms; healthy;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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