Economic assessment of nutritional recommendations
Irz, Xavier; Leroy, Pascal; Requillart, Vincent; Soler, Louis-Georges (2015)
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Journal of Health Economics
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 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. Most recommendations are also economically progressive, with the exception of that targeting F&V.
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