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Understanding the Drivers of Food Choice to Improve Population Nutrition: An Application of Economics to Public Health


Mirriam Matita
Deborah Johnston
Helen Walls

Abstract

There is much to learn about what shapes people’s food choices, particularly in countries with a high burden of malnutrition. Whilst public health  policymakers and practitioners in many countries seek to address malnutrition, including through for example in Malawi with improving national  food production via large-scale agricultural input subsidy programmes, there are significant gaps in the understanding of people’s food choices and  trade-offs including in the context of such policy interventions. Considerable insight into research of the drivers of food choices and trade-offs can  be gained from both the conceptual perspectives and applied methodological techniques that are offered by the discipline of economics. Here, we  describe our current research, an example of the use of conceptualisations and methods from economics to explore drivers of food choice to  improve population  nutrition in the context of Malawi’s FISP.

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print ISSN: 2312-9204