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‘Fat tax’ can boost healthy foods demand: Study

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New York: Small price differences in food products, which mimic a “fat tax”, can be highly effective in shifting consumer demand from high calorie to healthier low-calorie alternatives, say authors of a study that included Indians.

The paper ‘Will a Fat Tax Work?’ by professors Romana Khan at Northwestern University, Kanishka Misra at the University of Michigan, and Vishal Singh at the New York University Stern School of Business is based on a large-scale field study analysing six years of sales data from over 1,700 supermarkets across the US.

It found that low-income consumers, who disproportionately suffer the consequences of obesity, are particularly responsive to small price differences across products. Such differences are important because they mimic a “fat tax”.

The researchers focused on a peculiar pricing pattern of milk in the US, where relative prices for milk across fat content — whole, two percent, one percent and skim — vary depending on where you live and which store you happen to patronise.

At some stores, prices are equal across all fat content; at others, prices decrease with fat content, with whole milk the most expensive and skim the cheapest option.

“The question that comes to mind is whether these different price structures have an impact on people’s choices. To put it simply, do people switch to lower fat milk for a price difference as small as 15 cents per gallon?” said Romana Khan, the co-author on the study.

“The answer to this question is of interest because it relates to the hotly debated issue of whether a ‘fat’ or ‘sugar’ tax can be an effective mechanism to curb obesity.”

The study found that in markets where milk prices were equal across fat alternatives, people chose whole milk over lower calorie alternatives, particularly in low-income areas.

At equal prices across fat content, the market share of whole milk was 52 percent Ain lower income areas compared to 25 percent in higher income areas.

In markets where whole milk was priced at a premium, the average price difference for a gallon of milk of just 14 cents (five percent) caused a significant shift in market share away from whole milk to lower fat options.

This shift to the lower calorie options was significantly more pronounced in low-income neighbourhoods.

“This provides us with a quasi-experimental setup to analyse how small price differences impact people’s choices,” said Misra.

“Our results have significant implications for health experts and policy makers since interventions in the form of taxes on high calories foods are highly contentious,” said Singh of the New York University.

“The general perception is that these taxes need to be substantial, at least 20 percent and often as high as 50 percent, to have a meaningful impact. This would be highly regressive since low-income consumers spend a greater proportion of their disposable income on food,” he added.

The new study shows that large shifts in demand toward the lower-calorie option can be achieved with a price difference of just 5-10 percent.

“Here, we have compelling field-based evidence that such taxes don’t need to be high to be effective,” Singh said. (IANS), (image courtesy:i.guim.co.uk)

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6 Lettuce Advantages Which are Important for Your Health

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Lettuce
Lettuce. Pixabay.
  • “Lettuce” is also called Lactuca Savita & a perfect food for weight loss.
  • Some of the health benefits of Lettuce are: It improves metabolism & provide supply of antioxidants.
  • Lettuce reduces the risk of diabetes, lowers cholesterol levels, controls cancer & anxiety.
  • Benefits of lettuce also includes weigh loss, it keeps your heart healthy & provide protein.

In this article “Benefits of Lettuce” , we will talk about it’s health benefits, Nutritional Facts & Types of Lettuce.

Lettuce, widely regarded as the “ideal food” to lose weight, is a large green leaved plant, often eaten in uncooked salads. It is a highly recommended healthy option in the searches provided by our search engine. And in today’s world, where everyone is health conscious, we are left with no choice but to consume healthy food. But, Lettuce is one healthy snack, which has way more benefits than just keeping you healthy. We will talk about some important health benefits of lettuce.

For many years, Lettuce was considered more than a vegetable, as it was thought to possess some medicinal properties. Some of the medicinal properties have also been proven true.

Below are some health benefits of lettuce that should be looked upon:

Lettuce
Salad containing lettuce. Pixabay.

 

1. Anti-Inflammatory properties:

Lettuce possesses anti-inflammatory properties which help to control inflammation. Scientific experiments have proven that Lettuce extracts have significant power to control the pain and redness.

(Health benefits of lettuce)

2. Lower Cholesterol Levels:

Once we reach our 40s, we look up to healthy food options- consulting dietitians, counting calories, overtly depending on allopathic pills. But over dependence on synthetic ways to improve our health is dangerous too. Scientific tests have proven that eating lettuce prevents cardiovascular diseases. Also, it has zero fat which keeps your heart healthy.

(Health benefits of lettuce)

3. Lettuce leaves/juice can treat your Insomnia

The extract of the lettuce or its leaves when eaten induces sleep and does not even have side-effects. The extract produces a sedative effect.

Also Read: Five Benefits of Honey and Lemon Drink that Can’t be Ignored.

4. Control Anxiety 

Unani has widely accepted lettuce as a solution to Neuro-related problems. It possesses anxiolytic properties, drugs which reduce anxiety. Lettuce was popularly exploited during the ancient times.

(Health benefits of lettuce)

5. Fights Cancer

The extract of this plant tends to control a certain kind of cancer. Research experiment on human cancer cells, especially, the leukemia cells proved that the disease’s effect was controlled to a major extent, after being treated with the plant’s extracts.

(Health benefits of lettuce)

6. Weight LOSS!

Lettuce has only 12 calories for one cup. Putting it in your salad with some salt and pepper seasonings added can be the perfect diet chart for your weight loss.

Types Of Lettuce:

  • Romaine Lettuce – This is your classic Greek salad. Sweet and crunchy.                          romaine lettuce is a very good source of dietary fiber, manganese, potassium, biotin, vitamin B1, copper, iron and vitamin C. It is also a good source of vitamin B2, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6, phosphorus, chromium, magnesium, calcium and pantothenic acid.
  • Iceberg lettuce:  Until the 1930’s was known as Crisphead lettuce.                      White on the inside. Crisp texture and mild taste. It contains curved, overlapping leaves which form crispy, firm round heads. Inside, creamy white leaves are tightly packed.
  • Butterhead Lettuce : Boston and Bibb. Large green leaves that are soft and sweet.Butterhead is a slightly smaller version of the variety and is the first of this cultivar to be grown in the U.S
  • Red and Green Leaf: Delicate taste and leaves.

Nutritional Facts of Lettuce:

Lettuce contains many a thing like:

  • moisture
  • energy
  • protein
  • fat
  • carbohydrates
  • dietary
  • fiber and sugars.

Lettuce has below Minerals & Vitamins:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorous
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Zinc along with vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B-6, C, A, E, and vitamin K.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram.


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