Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural and Resource Economics

Major Professor

Andrew Muhammad

Committee Members

Kristen Brown Johnson, Shreedhar Upendram, Jacqueline Yenerall


An increasing prevalence of obesity and diet-related diseases has heavily contributed to increased economic challenges including decreased economic productivity and increased healthcare expenditures globally. Saturated fatty acids (SFAs) are readily found in foods and have been linked to increased risk for diet-related diseases leading to increased mortality and morbidity worldwide. Identifying factors that influence SFA consumption is essential to government intervention strategies to improve dietary choices, decreasing obesity and diet-related diseases. The goal of this study is to estimate the relationship between saturated fat consumption and economic factors such as nation income, food prices, and socio-demographics globally. SFA intake data from the Global Dietary Database along with gross domestic product, and food price and expenditure data from the World Bank are used to estimate this relationship across 164 countries. Estimates are used to derive income and price elasticities of saturated fat intake by sex, country, region, and national income levels. We expect national income to influence food choices across both rich and poor countries, regions, and sex. Results are used to assess the potential impacts of polices such as income support, subsidies, and taxes.

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