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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787

Abstract

CLARO, Rafael Moreira  and  MONTEIRO, Carlos Augusto. Family income, food prices, and household purchases of fruits and vegetables in Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2010, vol.44, n.6, pp.1014-1020. ISSN 1518-8787.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102010000600005.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the influence of family income and food prices on the participation of fruits and vegetables in the food purchases of Brazilian households. METHODS: Data analyzed refers to the Household Budget Survey conducted by the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística on a probabilistic sample of 48,470 Brazilian households between 2002 and 2003. Fruit and vegetable participation in total food purchases was expressed as a percentage of total calories purchased and as calories from fruit and vegetables adjusted for total calories purchased. A multiple regression analysis was employed to estimate elasticity coefficients, controlling for sociodemographic variables and price of other foods. RESULTS: Fruit and vegetable participation in total food purchases increased as the price of these foods decreased, or as income increased. A 1% decrease in the price of fruit and vegetables would increase their participation by 0.79%, whereas a 1% increase in family income would increase participation by 0.27%. The effect of income tended to be smaller among higher income strata. CONCLUSIONS: Reducing the price of fruit and vegetables, either by supporting their production or through fiscal measures, is a promising public policy instrument, capable of increasing the participation of these foods in the diet of the Brazilian population.

Keywords : Food; economics; Income; Food Consumption; Fruit; Greens; Diet Surveys; Prices.

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