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.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Dietary choices, Targeted benefits, Healthy Start scheme
JEL Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis (jel D12), Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health (jel I18)
Persistent URL,
Journal Journal of Health 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