Changing Nutritional Content of Food

Helen H. Jensen

in The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Food Consumption and Policy

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199569441
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Economics

 Changing Nutritional Content of Food

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  • Economics
  • Agricultural, Environmental, and Natural Resource Economics
  • Public Economics


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This article provides an overview of the changes in nutrient content of the food supply in the United States and then describes core concepts used in the assessment of the adequacy of (or excess in) diets. Factors that affect nutrient availability in the food supply—such as the convergence of dietary patterns and food production and processing and distribution technologies—affect nutrient content. The article also discusses the fortification of food products and technological interventions to change the nutritional content of available foods. This has important implications for health. Economic factors play an important role in determining the available nutrients in the food supply. Finally, the article concludes that understanding the strength of consumer preference, and changes in preference across income levels, offers the opportunity to tie foods more closely to health outcomes.

Keywords: nutrient content; food supply; nutrient availability; fortification; economic factors

Article.  7509 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Agricultural, Environmental, and Natural Resource Economics ; Public Economics

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