PhD Economic aspects of food choice

PhD: Economic aspects of food choice and its association with health inequalities in Scotland and the UK

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This PhD project focused on non-price determinants of food choices with the aim of improving individuals’ diet. These non-price determinants included perceptions of food and time preference. Negative externalities provided an economic rationale for intervention as over-consumption of food results in additional costs to the health service. Many factors affecting food choices. The first empirical chapter used the Scottish Health Survey to investigate how perceived barriers towards healthy eating influence food choices. Primary data collection allowed the association between time preference and food choices to be explored. A discrete choice experiment and field experiemnt was undertaken to investigate whether the impact of a food tax is affected by displaying the tax rate.

Outcome and translation

Overall, this PhD project has added to the understanding of non-price determinants of food choice by investigating perceived barriers, time preference, signposting tax rates, and how these were associated with food choices. Empirical results, for example specific perceived barriers to healthy eating or the rate of time preference, can be used to inform the development of policy interventions to improve individual food choices. The project has highlighted a number of potential avenues of future research including potential methods to implement a tax on foods. 

 

PhD Student: Liam Mc Morrow

Supervisors: A Ludbrook and J Macdiarmid, (Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health (RINH)).

Publications

Mc Morrow, L., Ludbrook, A., Macdiarmid, J. I. and Olajide, D. (2017) 'Perceived barriers towards healthy eating and their association with fruit and vegetable consumption', Journal of Public Health, 39(2), 330-338.

Mc Morrow, L. (2018) 'Economic analysis of the non-price determinants of food choices', PhD Thesis, HERU, University of Aberdeen.

 

Presentations

Mc Morrow, L., Ludbrook, A., Macdiarmid, J. I. and Olajide, D. (2013) 'Economic aspects of food choice and health inequalities', SGPE Residential Methodology Conference, Crieff, January 2013.

McMorrow, L., Ludbrook, A., Macdiarmid, J. I. and Olajide, D. (2013) 'Determinants of fruit and vegetable consumption in Scotland', Institute of Applied Health Sciences (IAHS) summer symposium, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, 17 June 2013.

Mc Morrow, L., Ludbrook, A., Macdiarmid, J. I. and Olajide, D. (2013) 'Determinants of fruit and vegetable consumption in Scotland', Irish Society for New Economists, Maynooth, Ireland, September 2013.

Mc Morrow, L., Ludbrook, A., Macdiarmid, J. I. and Olajide, D. (2013) 'The determinants of fruit and vegetable consumption: a focus on individual attitudes', Scottish Faculty of Public Health Conference, Dunblane, 7-8 November 2013.

Mc Morrow, L., Ludbrook, A., Macdiarmid, J. I. and Olajide, D. (2014) 'Attitudes towards healthy eating, fruit and vegetable consumption, and health outcomes in Scotland', Health Economists' Study Group, Sheffield, 8-10 January 2014.

McMorrow, L., Ludbrook, A., Macdiarmid, J. I. and Olajide, D. (2014) 'The determinants of fruit and vegetable consumption: a focus on individual attitudes', NHS Grampian CDP Session, Aberdeen, January 2014.

Mc Morrow, L., Ludbrook, A., Macdiarmid, J. I. and Olajide, D.(2014) 'Nudging consumers towards a healthy food choice: a pilot discrete choice experiment', Aberdeen Centre for Energy Regulation and Obesity (ACERO) Symposium, Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, Aberdeen, 24 April 2014.

Mc Morrow, L., Ludbrook, A., Macdiarmid, J. I. and Olajide, D. (2014) 'The determinants of fruit and vegetable consumption: a focus on individual attitudes', Health Surveys User Conference, University College London, 15 July 2014.

Mc Morrow, L., Ludbrook, A., Macdiarmid, J. I. and Olajide, D. (2014) 'Nudging consumers towards a healthy food choice: a pilot discrete choice experiment', European Health Economics Association (EuHEA) PhD Student-Supervisor and Early Career Researcher Conference, Manchester Centre for Health Economics, 1-3 September 2014.

Mc Morrow, L., Ludbrook, A., Macdiarmid, J. I. and Olajide, D. (2015) 'The role of perceptions when taxing food', Cuthbertson Prize Lecture, [poster] [pdf] Rowett Institute for Nutrition and Health, University of Aberdeen, 15 April 2015.

McMorrow, L., Ludbrook, A., Macdiarmid, J. I. and Olajide, D. (2015) 'The non-price determinants of food choice: a focus on the role of perceptions', Cuthbertson Prize Lecture, Rowett Institute for Nutrition and Health, University of Aberdeen, 15 April 2015.

Mc Morrow, L. (2015) ‘Nudging people to make better decisions: is it ethical?’ PechaKucha Aberdeen (Public engagement), Belmont Filmhouse, Aberdeen, 17 November 2015.

Mc Morrow, L., Ludbrook, A. and Macdiarmid, J. I. (2016) 'Can time preference help explain variations in diet quality?', Health Economists' Study Group (HESG) Meeting, University of Manchester, Manchester, England, 6-8 January 2016.

Mc Morrow, L., Ludbrook, A. and Macdiarmid, J. I. (2016) 'Food taxes: is it possible to influence snack food choices by using tax as a signal?', Scottish Faculty of Public Health Conference, Dunblane Hydro Hotel, Dunblane, 27-28 October 2016.