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Title:Three empirical analyses of behavioral and nutrition policy influences on dietary choices
Author(s):Asirvatham, Jebaraj
Director of Research:McNamara, Paul E.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):McNamara, Paul E.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Gundersen, Craig; Baylis, Katherine R.; Chapman-Novakofski, Karen M.
Department / Program:Agr & Consumer Economics
Discipline:Agricultural & Applied Econ
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Behavioral economics
added sugars
nutrition information
media campaign
Abstract:This dissertation research is motivated by the reality that an unhealthy diet has long-term health consequences, and is one among the most important factors associated with some of the most prevalent disorders and conditions, including obesity, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and diabetes. Although there are several factors, including genetics, physiology and evironment that could cause or increase the risk of some of these conditions or disorders, behavioral factors play a significant role in the demand for food products. In the first essay, I find that external stimuli do increase calorie intake, and that restraint behavior does not fully compensate for the excess calories. Another important result is that individuals consuming higher calories show more impulsive behavior but, surprisingly, also show high restraint. My second essay finds important association of added sugars consumption with saturated fat intake and with cholesterol intake. Thus indicating that consumers making healthier choices in one nutrient are not making healthier choices on other nutrients. The third essay investigates effect of nutrition label informational campaign that was undertaken as part of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990. I find that the informational campaign had an impact only on select nutrients. Overall, in this dissertation, I establish that behavioral factors and nutrition information influence dietary choices.
Issue Date:2011-05-25
Rights Information:Copyright 2011 Jebaraj Asirvatham
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-25
Date Deposited:2011-05

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