There is growing policy interest in encouraging better dietary choices. We study a nationallyimplemented policy – the UK Healthy Start scheme – that introduced vouchers for fruit, vegetables and milk. We show thatthe policy has increased spending on fruit and vegetables and has been more effective than an equivalent-value cash benefit. We also show that the policy improved the nutrient composition of households’ shopping baskets, with no offsetting changes in spending on other foodstuffs.

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Journal of Health Economics
Department of Applied Economics

Griffith, R, von Hinke Kessler Scholder, S.M.L., & Smith, S. (2018). Getting a Healthy Start? The effectiveness of targeted benefits for improving dietary choices. Journal of Health Economics, 58, 176–187. doi:10.1016/j.jhealeco.2018.02.009