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Food policy lecture examines the real costs of obesity epidemic

February 20, 2012

The economics of the obesity epidemic will be examined by a U.S. Department of Agriculture expert in a University of Minnesota lecture at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24 in the Cargill Building, 1500 Gortner Ave., St. Paul.

Lauren Unnevehr, director of the food division of the USDA’s Economic Research Service, will discuss how widespread obesity and fast-growing health care costs can be addressed through public policy interventions such as food taxes, improvements in food access, calorie information in restaurants and school nutrition standards. While many experts have recommended similar interventions, Unnevehr's thinking is unique in taking economic consequences into consideration.

Unnevehr is an expert on consumer demand and food policy and a past president of the international Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

This lecture is the annual James P. Houck Lecture on Food and Consumer Policy, a series sponsored by the university’s applied economics department.

This event is free and open to the public, and a reception will follow the lecture. To register, visit

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