Non-adherence to a low-fat diet: An economic perspective

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9 Scopus citations


Despite bearing increased risk of suffering a heart attack, failure to adhere to a low-fat dietary regimen is wide-spread. The paper applies an expected-utility-maximization model to inquire into the individual's decision to deviate from a prescribed low-fat diet, offering an economic explanation for excess high-fat consumption. The implications of self-protection against the risk of dying from an attack are further examined. The analysis reveals that self-protection and dietary adherence can be complements, suggesting that public health policy may help reduce both the risk of an attack and the risk of dying from an attack through providing incentives for self-protection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-104
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Hazard rate
  • Heart attack
  • Low-fat diet
  • Non-adherence
  • Self-protection


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