Martin O'Connell, 21 April 2017

How to tackle rising obesity? In this video, Martin O’Connell referring to the crisps market discusses how restrictions on advertisement could influence consumption. This video was recorded at the Royal Economic Society Annual Conference in April 2017.

Pierre Dubois, Rachel Griffith, Martin O'Connell, 31 March 2017

There have been calls for restrictions on junk food advertising to tackle rising rates of obesity around the world. This column examines the likely effect of a ban on potato crisp advertising. Results suggest that the total quantity of crisps sold would fall by around 15% in the presence of a ban, or by 10% if firms respond with price cuts. The welfare benefits from this would depend on whether current advertising is persuasive, informative or complementary.

Rachel Griffith, 26 May 2014

Diet-related chronic diseases are a major public health concern. Addressing this concern is a key government policy objective. This Vox Talk argues that the impact of these policies on diet and health outcomes depends on how consumers adapt their consumption behaviour and on how firms respond in terms of the prices they set and the foods they offer.

Michael Grossman, Erdal Tekin, Roy Wada, 28 September 2013

Childhood obesity is a major health concern whose effects persist into adulthood. Targeted taxation of unhealthy foods has been shown to reduce body mass index (BMI), but this is an imperfect measure of obesity. This column provides evidence that taxation affects percentage body fat (PBF), a more direct measure. This evidence strengthens the argument in favour of tax-based incentives as a policy tool.

Neil Gandal, 17 September 2009

Is increasing obesity due to changes in relative food prices? High-energy density foods are less expensive per calorie than fresh fruits and vegetables. Using data from Israel, this column shows that price sensitivity has a significant impact on obesity. In fact, price sensitivity may be more crucial than income.

Pierre Dubois, 17 October 2007

Obesity is a becoming a major health problem in Europe and it's driven to some extent by rising junk food consumption. Junk food has negative externalities and recent research finds that its demand is fairly elastic. If it is so natural to tax cigarettes, why not tax junk food as well?

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