Pizza, Soda Consumption Falls When Prices Go Up

Policies to adjust the price of these two items could help people improve their eating habits
By Jane Parry
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, March 10 (HealthDay News) -- Consumption of takeaway pizza and soda falls when prices increase, and altering the price of these two items could help Americans eat a more healthful diet, according to a study in the March 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Kiyah J. Duffey, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues conducted a 20-year longitudinal study of 5,115 participants in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study to assess associations between food price, dietary intake, weight, and insulin resistance.

There was a decrease in the real price of soda and pizza over the course of the study, while there was an increase in the price of whole milk, the data revealed. The researchers found that a 10 percent increase in the price of soda or pizza reduced energy consumed from these foods by 7.12 and 11.5 percent, respectively. A $1 increase in the price of soda was associated with less consumption, lower weight and lower insulin resistance scores, as were pizza price increases, indicating that policies to alter fast food prices could help the fight against the obesity epidemic.

"While such policies will not solve the obesity epidemic in its entirety and may face considerable opposition from food manufacturers and sellers, they could prove an important strategy to address over-consumption," the authors write.

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