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Private Strategies, Public Policies, and Food System Performance

Investigators
Jensen, Helen
Institutions
Iowa State University
Start date
2007
End date
2009
Objective
  1. To analyze the demand for selected branded food products, including fluid milk, in Europe to explore the cultural and economic context of branding strategies.
  2. Use demand system results for selected products (including carbonated soft drinks) to analyze the impact on obesity.
  3. Develop a multi-factorial prioritization framework for use by risk managers to determine areas for immediate and longer run attention and conduct in-depth analysis of specific examples of the market and trade impacts of the adoption of risk management strategies by government.
More information
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: The food system is changing dramatically to meet the needs of consumers and to take advantage of new technologies and science related to food processes, control of food safety risk and knowledge about the links between food and health including obesity. Public policies for marketing, food product formulation, food safety and nutrition have a current and critical need for research that addresses the role of economic and market factors. Low income populations, children and other groups at risk warrant specific consideration. Government policies and programs are likely to play a significant role, both direct and indirect, in the foods and types of foods available and chosen by consumers. Economic research contributes to the development of effective food, food quality and safety, and nutrition policies and programs through analytic methods and results used in evaluation, design and analysis of the policies and programs. Information from other countries and global markets provides information important to improved understanding of markets. Economic analysis of existing secondary data and publicly available statistics are used to examine the role of markets, food availability, food composition, prices and public policies on food choices and consumption. Socio-demographic factors, lifestyle choices, healthy behaviors such as exercise or physical activity, not smoking, and information (including product labels and education) will be considered as they affect dietary choices. The role of the retail environment is also considered. Econometric and statistical methods provide the foundation for the analytical methods. Estimation of demand systems and behavioral equations incorporate and apply basic economic models of consumer, household and firm behaviors in the analysis. In addition, system-wide approaches will be developed and model the transmission of food quality and related risks in agricultural and food systems. The methods incorporate information drawn from epidemiological, market and economic models of agricultural production and food production, distribution and market systems. The objective of the research is to develop and increase knowledge and improve understanding of factors that determine food choices, behaviors and health-related outcomes and related public policies. Improved public policies and program design will result in a safer food supply, reduced obesity rates and improved nutrition and health.

APPROACH: Newly available data on foods, food selection and intake, food expenditures, food processing and distribution, and behaviors related to food selection and choices provide evidence on the role of individual and firm behavior, public policies and their role in improving health and public welfare. The methods used in this project make use of existing secondary data and publicly available statistics to examine the role of markets, food availability, food composition, prices and public policies, in addition to other socio-demographic factors, on demand for food products. This includes lifestyle choices, healthy behaviors such as exercise or physical activity, not smoking, and dietary choices. The data and methods will also be used to examine the role of food choices, behaviors and public programs on health outcomes of low income adults and children, all children and the general population. Data sets used include food expenditure survey data from households, household scanner data, and national dietary survey data. Comparable data sets for European countries (the European Union, Central and Eastern Europe) are also used. Econometric and statistical methods provide the foundation for the analytical methods. Estimation of demand systems and behavioral equations incorporate and apply basic economic models of consumer, household and firm behaviors in the analysis. System-wide approaches will be developed and model the transmission of food quality and related risks in agricultural and food systems. The methods incorporate information drawn from epidemiological, market and economic models of agricultural production and food production, distribution and market systems. The models make explicit system linkages and the integrative nature of the system and underlie considerations of evaluative criteria and policy instruments. Case studies and applications are developed to consider implications of animal disease outbreaks (Avian Influenza), food safety transmission in the livestock and meat sector, and models that relate agricultural programs and policies to public health outcomes (nutrition and obesity). Where possible, methods recommended by leading scientific bodies (for example, Institute on Medicine on dietary planning and assessments) will be incorporated in the approaches used. Output from the research will be disseminated through journal publication, briefing papers and presentations at meetings. The objective is to increase knowledge for public policy analysts and researchers concerning private strategies and public policies related to food consumption, behaviors and public health outcomes. Presentation and delivery of new research findings and integration of results and new methods of analysis used in evaluation of public programs and policies will provide measures of the success of the research efforts.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
IOW05160
Accession number
213339
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens
Risk Assessment, Management, and Communication
Food Defense and Integrity