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Abstract

In many countries, consumption of fruits and vegetables (F&V) is below recommended levels. We quantify the economic and health effects of F&V stamp policy designed for low income consumers. The analysis combined two models: an economic model which predicts how F&V consumption is affected by a change in policy and a health model which evaluates the impact of a change in F&V consumption in terms of death avoided (DA) and life-years saved (LYS). Finally we computed the costs per DA and LYS as the ratio between the taxpayer cost of the policy and the number of DA and LYS. The main findings of the present study are: (1) F&V stamp policy has a positive and significant impact on the consumption of small F&V consumers of the targeted population, (2) at the aggregate level, this policy has a modest impact on consumption and as a result on health gains, (3) for a given budget allocated to the policy, the cost per DA or LYS decreases when the targeting is smaller, at least as long as consumption remains in plausible values, (4) the policy reduces the health inequalities between low and high income populations, (5) when well designed, F&V stamp policy is as cost-effective as price policy (about 42 k€/LYS).

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