Economic Policies for Healthier Food Intake: The Impact on Different Household Categories

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Abstract

This paper simulates the impact across household types of fully funded tax reforms designed to increase consumers’ fiber intake from grain consumption. Our results suggest that household types with the highest initial consumption share of fiber-rich products—i.e., households without children (seniors, couples without children, and single women without children)—experience the highest increase in fiber intake from these reforms. However, they also experience high increases in unhealthy nutrients from the reforms, making the net health effects difficult to evaluate. Seniors and couples without children also gain most financially, paying less food taxes and facing, depending on the reform, either a lower price level than before the reform or a lower increase in the price level than the average household. These household types also face the lowest initial price level. Households with the lowest initial consumption share of fiber-rich products—families with children—appear to gain the least financially from the reforms: they pay more food taxes and face relatively high increases in price levels. Further, in general they experience an increase in fiber intake smaller than that of the average household. However, they do generally see reductions in the intake of added sugar, and in many cases saturated fat, which positively affects the health of families with children, who often overconsume these nutrients.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-140
JournalEuropean Journal of Health Economics
Volume12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes