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Impact of Different Policies on Unhealthy Dietary Behaviors in an Urban Adult Population: An Agent-Based Simulation Model (American Journal of Public Health)

Publication Topics

Health Care Economics; Diet and Nutrition

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Author 1

<a onclick="OpenPopUpPage('{7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}&ID=1169&RootFolder=*', RefreshPage); return false;" href="{7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}&ID=1169&RootFolder=*">Donglan Zhang, MS</a>

Author 2

<a onclick="OpenPopUpPage('{7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}&ID=79&RootFolder=*', RefreshPage); return false;" href="{7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}&ID=79&RootFolder=*">Onyebuchi A. Arah, MD, PhD, MPH</a>

Author 3

<a onclick="OpenPopUpPage('{7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}&ID=1026&RootFolder=*', RefreshPage); return false;" href="{7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}&ID=1026&RootFolder=*"></a>

Author 4

<a onclick="OpenPopUpPage('{7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}&ID=1167&RootFolder=*', RefreshPage); return false;" href="{7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}&ID=1167&RootFolder=*">Philippe J. Giabbanell, MSc</a>

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​Unhealthy eating is a complex-system problem. The authors used agent-based modeling to examine the effects of different policies on unhealthy eating behaviors.

Authors developed an agent-based simulation model to represent a synthetic population of adults in Pasadena, Calif., and how they make dietary decisions. Data from the 2007 Food Attitudes and Behaviors Survey and other empirical studies were used to calibrate the parameters of the model. Simulations were performed to contrast the potential effects of various policies on the evolution of dietary decisions.

The model showed that a 20-percent increase in taxes on fast foods would lower the probability of fast-food consumption by 3-percentage points, whereas improving the visibility of positive social norms by 10 percent, either through community-based or mass-media campaigns, could improve the consumption of fruits and vegetables by 7-percentage points and lower fast-food consumption by 6-percentage points. Zoning policies had no significant impact.


Article 1

Journal Article: Impact of Different Policies on Unhealthy Dietary Behaviors in an Urban Adult Population: An Agent-Based Simulation Model

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Last modified at 10/29/2014 3:01 PM by i:0#.f|uclachissqlmembershipprovider|celeste