AgreenSkills session, year: 1st session, 2012
Receiving laboratory: ALISS Nutrition and Social Sciences Research Unit Versailles-Grignon, France
Country of origin : United Kingdom
Measuring the Impact of nutritional policies targeting changes in consumers’ behaviours and quality of foods
Public Health authorities are concerned about the increasing prevalence of food-related chronic diseases (diabetes, obesity, some cancers, etc.). Public interventions to curb this trend often take the form of information campaigns or changes in relative prices (e.g. specific subsidies applied to healthy food or taxes to unhealthy food). The project “Measuring the Impact of Nutritional Policies Targeting Changes in Consumers’ Behaviors and Quality of Foods” focuses on the evaluation of two nutritional policy studies.
A first study measures the impact of the French 5-a-day information campaign on households’ fruit and vegetables purchases. Information campaigns are a commonly-used policy since they are capable of reaching a large number of people with a relatively low cost per capita, as well as helping to inform the population and avoid unintended substitution with other food products.
Numerous countries are implementing or considering nutritional taxes on food, especially sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB). A second study analyses how quality effects combine with quantity effects in consumer reactions to SSB taxes. While previous research has shown the relevance of potential substitutions between different types of beverages or other sweet foods, little attention has been paid to the substitutions within sugar-sweetened beverage categories. In fact, we show that the latter also need to be taken into account, since people are able to shift from higher to lower quality within the same category of sugar-sweetened beverages. Both studies should soon lead to international publications participating in the policy debate on nutritional policies.
I have had three years’ professional experience at Banco Bilbao Viscaya Argentaria (BBVA Chile) as a credit analyst for Corporate Agribusiness companies, after which, I obtained a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University, USA. In 2012, I finished my doctorate in Management (Applied Economics) at the University of Kent, UK, where I studied the impact of information on household behaviour. I used the Living Costs and Food Survey from the Office for National Statistics to measure the impact of child obesity news on UK household expenditure, with special emphasis on food expenditure. Since then, I have also conducted research as part of “Traceback”, an integrated project of the European Union Sixth Framework Program of Scientific and Technological Research. The project involved 28 partners from 11 countries (mainly European countries). My AgreenSkills postdoctoral fellowship helps me to further the research of my PhD dissertation and formulate policy recommendations. I am working on measuring the impact of an information campaign to improve fruit and vegetable consumption and quantifying the relevance of taking quality choices into account when considering sugar-sweetened beverage taxes.
1) A. Silva, R.M. Nayga, Jr., B.L. Campbell, and J.L. Park “Can Perceived Task Complexity Influence Cheap Talk’s Effectiveness in Reducing Hypothetical Bias in Stated Choice Studies?” 2012. Applied Economics Letters 19(17): 1711–1714
2) A. Silva, R.M. Nayga, Jr., B.L. Campbell, and J.L. Park “Revisiting Cheap Talk with New Evidence from a Field Experiment” 2011. Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 36(2):280–291
3) B.L. Campbell, R.M. Nayga, Jr., J.L. Park and A. Silva “Does the National School Lunch Program Improve Children’s Dietary Outcomes?” 2011. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 94(4): 1099–1130
4) M. Garcia, A. Silva and J. R. O’Hanley “Using Stochastic Simulation to Evaluate the Cost-Effectiveness of Traceability Systems: The Case of Quality Control in a Fresh Produce Supply Chain” in Food Chain Integrity: A Holistic Approach to Food Traceability, Safety, Quality and Authenticity 2011.Woodhead Publishing Series in Food Science, Technology and Nutrition
5) A. Silva, F. Etile and G. Jamet. “Consequences Of The 5-A-Day Campaign: Evidence From French Panel Data” Article selected for presentation at the American Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Washington D.C., August, 2013
6) A. Silva, F. Etile, C. Boizot-Szantai and S. Dharmasena. “The Impact Of Beverage Taxes On Quantity And Quality Of Consumption in France” Article selected for presentation at the American Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Washington D.C., August, 2013
7) A. Silva and S. Dharmasena. “Modeling Seasonal Unit Roots as a Simple Empirical Method to Handle Autocorrelation in Demand Systems: Evidence from UK Expenditure Data1” Article selected for presentation at the American Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Washington D.C., August, 2013
- 3 year Scholarship European Union Traceback Project (Framework 6), 2008-2010
- First Place in the Case Study Competition at the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association Conference. Parma, Italy. 23rd-26th June 2007 (3-person team)