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Food choices and public policy


Rachel Griffith explains the significance of her research, which was funded through the European Research Council.

Policies to reduce purchases of unhealthy foods

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980, and that most of the world’s population now live in countries where obesity and being overweight are responsible for more deaths than being underweight. Governments around the world are grappling with how to tackle rising rates of obesity and non-communicable disease, and a range of policies have been implemented with this in mind, including taxes on soft drinks or other foods, labels to inform consumers about the nutritional content of products, encouraging the reformulation of food products, and restrictions to advertising junk foods.

The full article can be accessed on the website of the British Academy.

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Journal article | Review of Economic Studies
There are growing calls to restrict advertising of junk foods. Whether such a move will improve diet quality will depend on how advertising shifts consumer demands and how firms respond. We study an important and typical junk food market – the potato chips market.
External publication
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, ...