Start Date: September 2008

ID #: 65062

Principal Investigator: Chen Zhen, MS, PhD

Co-Principal Investigator: James Nonnemaker, PhD

Organization: Research Triangle Institute

Funding Round: Round 3

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This project will examine the extent to which household food purchasing behavior differs between higher- and lower-income households and whether these differences may be partly responsible for socioeconomic differences in childhood obesity. In addition, investigators will use econometric models of household food purchases to simulate the extent to which pricing policies, such as taxes on specific obesity-promoting foods, could effectively promote healthier food purchases. The results of this analysis will provide policy makers with additional information concerning how food price changes (via government policy or market forces) influence food expenditure and consumption patterns for higher- and lower-income households. This research will be conducted using the Nielsen Company’s Homescan longitudinal dataset of household weekly at-home food expenditures, which contains detailed data on the quantity and price of specific home food purchases.

Related Research

July 2013

Predicting the Effects of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes on Food and Beverage Demand in a Large Demand System

This paper predicts the effects of sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) taxes on demand for 23 categories of packaged foods and beverages and the associated changes in calories, fat, and sodium intake and consumer welfare. Using household food purchase data from the national 2006 Nielsen Homescan panel, researchers used demand elasticity estimates to simulate the effects of More

January 2013

Implications of a Sugar-Sweetened Beverage (SSB) Tax When Substitutions to Non-Beverage Items are Considered

This paper estimates the changes in energy, fat, and sodium purchases resulting from a tax that increases sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) prices by 20 percent as well as the effect of such a tax on body weight. Researchers found that a 20 percent price increase on SSBs would result in a decrease in energy purchased in More

December 2010

Impact of Targeted Beverage Taxes on Higher- and Lower-Income Households

This article examines the health and financial impact of a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) on higher- and lower-income households. Using data from the 2006 Nielsen Homescan panel, researchers found that large taxes on SSBs have the potential to positively influence weight outcomes, especially for middle-income households. A 40 percent price increase would lead middle-income More