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Eating Better for Less: A National Discount Program for Healthy Food Purchases in South Africa

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Objectives: To examine whether reducing prices for healthy food purchases leads to changes in self-reported measures of food consumption and weight status. Methods: Repeated surveys of about 350,000 HealthyFood participants and nonparticipants. Results: Program participation is associated with more consumption of fruits/vegetables and whole-grain foods and less consumption of high sugar/salt foods, fried foods, processed meats, and fast food. There is no strong evidence that participation reduces obesity. Conclusions: A substantial price intervention might be effective in improving diets.


Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: RAND Corporation and Pardee RAND Graduate School, Santa Monica, CA, USA. 2: University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa; Discovery Health, Johannesburg, South Africa 3: Discovery Health, Johannesburg, South Africa 4: RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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