Price incentives on healthy foods, price disincentives on unhealthy foods, and greater access to healthier foods have received much attention from policy-makers and researchers as potentially effective obesity policies. The aims of this study are to: 1) estimate models to quantify the own- and cross-price elasticities (i.e., sensitivity) of processed foods, fruits and vegetables, and fast-food demand by households with children; 2) develop new measures of healthy food access at the census tract level using GIS data on store locations and detailed scanner data on retailer-specific food sales, and evaluate the performance of the new measure in the context of the food demand model developed in Aim 1; and 3) expand the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) Food Pricing and Intake Simulator, an electronic toolkit for food pricing policy analyses developed by the study team with RWJF funding, to account for consumption of fruits and vegetables and fast foods and add new functional features to the toolkit. The updated toolkit will be able to simulate the dietary and fiscal impacts of food subsidies and taxes on overall nutrition and government revenue. This work will be conducted using data from children and adolescents ages 3 to 18 and their families who participated in Nielsen’s Homescan between 2004-2006, with a focus on lower-income and ethnic minorities.
Understanding How Food Pricing and Access Affect the Diets of Children and Their Families
The healthfulness of foods and beverages found in retail food stores differs widely across the United States, both by location of the store as well as by store type. Some communities have limited access to stores that carry healthful staple foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grain-rich foods, and … More
Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) has emerged as an important healthy food and weight policy over the past five years. Seven US cities and more than 30 countries across the globe have adopted taxes on sugary drinks. Initial evaluations have found that these taxes raise the prices of sugary drinks and … More
Evaluation of the USDA FINI Program Finds Benefits for Consumers, Farmers and Retailers, and Local Economies
In December 2018, Congress passed a new farm bill which included a reauthorization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program. This brief summarizes the findings of a recent qualitative evaluation of FINI, which concludes that the program has benefits for consumers, farmers and … More