Nutrition and Agricultural Policy

Project Overview

Government Policies That Affect Agricultural Commodity Markets and prices also affect the prices and nutritional characteristics of food products and thus consumption choices and human nutrition outcomes. The effects of food and agricultural policies on human nutrition and obesity are not well understood, in part because the effects are confounded with other factors, such as income growth and changes in the food industry. Nevertheless, presumptions about the relationships are implicit or explicit in public policy discussions (e.g., that cheap food leads to obesity) and may have important implications for policy choices that affect nutrition and the demand for food as well as farm income. Read more 16 kB

Research Program

  1. Review changes in food consumption patterns, food prices, agricultural commodity prices, and food and agricultural policies
  2. Analyze the effects of alternative farm subsidy policies and agricultural R&D policies on commodity prices
  3. Analyze the consequences of alternative agricultural policies for food prices and consumption patterns, and their implications for nutrition and obesity
  4. Case study: Role of farm policies on prices and consumption of sugar and other caloric sweeteners
  5. Case study: WIC program in the Sacramento, CA, area, with special focus on Latina mothers and their toddlers
  6. Evaluate the effects of possible changes to food assistance programs on diet quality and obesity


Farm and Food Policy and Obesity
May 21-22, 2010
UC Davis Conference Center

This workshop marks the completion of the four-year project on the effects of agricultural policies on obesity, conducted at UC Davis and Iowa State University. Program, speaker, and other information is available at the UC Davis Web site.

This project is supported by the National Research Initiative of the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, USDA, Grant #2006-55215-16720, and the Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program (FANRP) of the USDA's Economic Research Service.