Association between Total Diet Cost and Diet Quality Is Limited

There is a common perception that it costs more to eat a healthy diet than a less healthy one. We derive a panel data model that accounts for unobserved specific individual effects to estimate the relationship between diet quality and total daily food expenditure. Since total daily diet cost and diet quality are both calculated from the foods chosen in our data, we account for the fact that there is an endogenous relationship between diet quality and cost. We find that while total daily food expenditure is statistically significant in relation to diet quality, the degree of association is very small.
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Carlson, Andrea; Dong, Diansheng; Lino, Mark, Association between Total Diet Cost and Diet Quality Is Limited, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Volume 39, Issue 1, April 2014, Pages 47–68

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