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date: 22 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article reviews the economic literature on the causes and consequences of current trends in food-related chronic diseases (FRCD) from a policy evaluation viewpoint. It focuses on policy interventions on the consumer side in developed countries. It recalls some key facts regarding historical trends in nutrition and FRCD, and highlights individual heterogeneity that is hidden behind aggregate trends. Some estimates of the medical and human capital costs of FRCD are also provided. It then considers the normative rationales for public intervention: market failures, such as the presence of externalities; and failures of consumer rationality. This article brings together some of the available empirical evidence regarding price and information policies and proposes some directions for future research.

Keywords: food-related chronic diseases, nutrition, price, human capital costs, consumer rationality

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