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Effect of price and information on the food choices of women university students in Saudi Arabia: an experimental study

Halimic, Aida, Gage, Heather, Raats, Monique and Williams, Peter (2017) Effect of price and information on the food choices of women university students in Saudi Arabia: an experimental study Appetite, 123. pp. 175-182.

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To explore the impact of price manipulation and healthy eating information on intended food choices


Health information was provided to a random half of subjects (vs. information on Saudi agriculture). Each subject chose from the same lunch menu, containing two healthy and two unhealthy entrees, deserts and beverages, on five occasions. Reference case prices were 5, 3 and 2 Saudi Arabian Reals (SARs). Prices of healthy and unhealthy items were manipulated up (taxed) and down (subsidised) by 1 SAR in four menu variations (random order); subjects were given a budget enabling full choice within any menu. The number of healthy food choices were compared with different price combinations, and between information groups. Linear regression modelling explored the effect of relative prices of healthy / unhealthy options and information on number of healthy choices controlling for dietary behaviours and hunger levels.


University campus, Saudi Arabia, 2013


99 women students


In the reference case, 49.5% of choices were for healthy items. When the price of healthy items was reduced, 58.5% of selections were healthy; 57.2% when the price of unhealthy items rose. In regression modelling, reducing the price of healthy items and increasing the price of unhealthy items increased the number of healthy choices by 5% and 6% respectively. Students reporting a less healthy usual diet selected significantly fewer healthy items. Providing healthy eating information was not a significant influence.


Price manipulation offers potential for altering behaviours to combat rising youth obesity in Saudi Arabia.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Economics
Authors :
Date : 13 December 2017
DOI : 10.1016/j.appet.2017.12.010
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2017. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Uncontrolled Keywords : Tax and Subsidy; Healthy eating information; Women; University students; Saudi Arabia
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 15 Dec 2017 11:59
Last Modified : 13 Dec 2018 02:08

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