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Abstract

A poor diet fostered by a rapid increase in the supply of affordable processed food has been mentioned as one of the major contributors to obesity and non-communicable diseases. Associated to increases in affordability are the promotions used by retailers. Their impact is controversial because promotions have been pointed to as a key factor in expanding the expenditure on caloric-rich processed foods, but they are also used by retailers for selling fruit and vegetables. This article focuses on the effect that retailers’ promotions have on the Scottish diet. In this respect, Scotland is an interesting case because it has one of the worst overweight and obesity records for both adults and children within the OECD countries. Most studies on the effects of promotions have been based on a single or reduced number of food products. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to analyse the overall effect of promotions on the Scottish food and drink purchases. This is achieved by analysing a representative scanner panel dataset for the period 2006-13. The methodology consists of exploring the impact of promotions on food expenditure and allocation, using for the latter an augmented with promotions linear AIDS model, while controlling by food access area, which was approximated by deprivation area. Results indicate that promotions seem to have differentiated effects by category and similar results for all the accessibility areas.

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