Examining higher- and lower-income household food purchasing behavior and whether it may be responsible for childhood obesity

The Foundation's program, Healthy Eating Research: Building Evidence to Prevent Childhood Obesity, was designed to support investigator-initiated research to identify and assess environmental and policy influences with the greatest potential to improve healthy eating and weight patterns among the nation's children.This project will examine the extent to which household food purchasing behavior differs between higher- and lower-income households and whether these differences may be partly responsible for socioeconomic differences in childhood obesity. In addition, investigators will use econometric models of household food purchases to simulate the extent to which pricing policies, such as taxes on specific obesity-promoting foods, could effectively promote healthier food purchases. The results of this analysis will provide policy makers with additional information concerning how food price changes (via government policy or market forces) influence food expenditure and consumption patterns for higher- and lower-income households. This research will be conducted using the Nielsen Company's Homescan longitudinal dataset of household weekly at-home food expenditures, which contains detailed data on the quantity and price of specific home food purchases.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $299,994.00

Awarded on: 8/21/2008

Time frame: 9/1/2008 - 8/31/2011

Grant Number: 65062


Research Triangle Institute (RTI)

3040 East Cornwallis Road
P.O. Box 12194
Research Triangle Park, 27709-2194


Chen Zhen
Project Director