Dr Toni Mora Wins the AES Award for the Best Article on Health Economics

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This award recognises excellence in the field of health economics, and led to an article being published in the journal Health Economics.

Dr Toni Mora Wins the AES Award for the Best Article on Health Economics

The award-winning article, with the title "Breakfast choice: An experiment combining a nutritional training workshop targeting adolescents and the promotion of unhealthy products”, was published in the journal Health Economics. The authors of the article are Dr Toni Mora, vice-rector of research at UIC Barcelona and sub-director of the Institute for Research on Evaluation and Public Policy, and Beatriz G. Lopez-Valcárcel, lecturer at the Universidad de las Palmas in Gran Canaria. 

It is the thirteenth edition of this award organised annually by the Spanish Health Economics Association (AES) to recognise the best article on health, intended to provide visibility to scientific research in this field. 

The article describes the results of a study carried out within the scope of the Chair in Public Finance (promoted with the support of Eurest) analysing the influence of a nutritional education workshop for adolescents, provided alongside the promotion of unhealthy foods. The experiment was conducted with the collaboration of the Catalan Government's Public Health Agency. 

The study involved a controlled test to determine the changes in food and drink choices (healthy or unhealthy) at breakfast, after completing a nutritional education workshop given by nutritionists from the Public Health Agency. At the same time, promotions of unhealthy food were evaluated (reactions to 2x1 offers on unhealthy products). 

In general terms, this pioneering paper reveals that the effects of nutritional intervention in schools are heterogeneous. The effects were different in the choice of food versus drink. Students were more resistant to advice about sugary drinks than advice referring to unhealthy food, and were more sensitive to 2x1 promotions on unhealthy products, and to the choices of classmates.

The members of the panel assessing the applications for the award given by AES were Laura Vallejo (Universidad de Las Palmas in Gran Canaria) as president of the AES Board of Governors; David Cantarero (University of Cantabria), as first vice-president of the AES Board of Governors; José María Abellán (University of Murcia); Rosa Urbanos (Complutense University of Madrid) and Pilar García (Erasmus University Rotterdam).