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Abstract

This paper assesses how successfully reducing the incidence of overweight and obesity in the US to meet public health objectives might influence agricultural production. We also examine the consequent agri-environmental effects of the production changes. Our estimates show that a reduction in aggregate consumption by between 2 and 6 percent, associated with public health goals being met, would lead to reduced production of primary agricultural commodities, increased exports, and reduced discharge of agricultural pollutants. In both cases, neither the estimated changes in commodity production nor the subsequent environmental impacts would be uniform across the landscape. Results indicate that in value terms, the largest changes (either positive or negative) in agricultural producer net returns would occur in the Corn Belt and the Lake States; conversely, the largest impacts on consumer surplus would occur in the Northeast and Pacific regions.

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