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Getting the Price Right: How Nutrition and Obesity Prevention Strategies Address Food and Beverage Pricing Within High-Income Countries

Abstract

Purpose of Review

Food and beverage prices are major influences on dietary intakes. International health bodies recommend leveraging food prices to create healthier food environments. A policy review was conducted to understand the extent to which national nutrition and obesity prevention policy strategies within high-income countries (i) consider food price as a determinant of health and (ii) propose and implement policies to rebalance food pricing towards healthier options.

Recent Findings

Policy strategies were inconsistent and fragmented in their inclusion of food prices as determinants of diet-related health. The equity benefits of pricing policies were often indicated. Fiscal measures and food subsidies in schools were the most commonly proposed and implemented pricing policies, predominantly used in Europe.

Summary

Price is a pertinent but underutilized policy lever in nutrition policy. Comprehensive food and beverage pricing strategies need to be identified, adopted and implemented to improve population diets for everyone.

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Funding

CZ was supported by an Australian Government and Research Training Scholarship. LGD was supported by an NHMRC Grant-funded Scholarship. KB was supported by a Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellowship (102047).

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Correspondence to Christina Zorbas.

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Zorbas, C., Grigsby-Duffy, L. & Backholer, K. Getting the Price Right: How Nutrition and Obesity Prevention Strategies Address Food and Beverage Pricing Within High-Income Countries. Curr Nutr Rep 9, 42–53 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13668-020-00300-w

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Keywords

  • Food price
  • Food policy
  • Fiscal policy
  • NCD prevention
  • Obesity prevention