Nutrition, health and socio-economic status -PhD thesis-
My PhD thesis consists of three chapters.
The first essay investigates the relationship between nutrition and socio-economic status among the British population. It describes
the dynamics of consumption over age and time using data from the British National Food Survey (NFS) covering the period 1975-2000. Daily intakes-age and food-age relationships for men and women are estimated by solving a non-linear least square model with a roughness penalty function approach. Focusing on young age groups, trends of consumption over the 25-year period of study and cohorts effect have been explored across three classes of age. Finally, an exploration of specific trend variations in eating habits has been implemented controlling for income distribution, region of residence and presence of children,
Popular justification of the growing obesity rate obeserved in Britain between 1985 and 2000 have been identified in increasing eating out and the development of fast food and supermarket. The second chapter of my thesis studies the role of eating out and food outlets development on eating habit variations in Britain.
The third chapter investigates the effect of price variation on the composition of the diet in Britain. It describes the dynamics of food demand in relation to food prices over time using data from the British National Food Survey (NFS) covering the period 1975-2000. Demand elasticities with respect to price elasticities are estimated by solving a quadratic almost ideal demand system (QUAIDS) model controlling also for total expenditure on food, region of residence, household size, household type, season and income quartiles. Focusing on the 'consumption technology' function, effects of food price variation on calories intake, energy from fat and energy from carbohydrates have been explored deriving nutrients elasticities with respect to variation of food prices.