This paper presents evidence on the impact of individual as well as regional characteristics on the dynamics of fat, protein, alcohol and cigarette consumption, and on the diversity of the diet in Russia between 1994 and 2005. All those aspects of nutritional behavior are important inputs to the production of health. A dynamic panel data model is used to estimate demand functions for fat, protein, alcohol, cigarettes and diversity of the diet. The results suggest the existence of strong habits in drinking and smoking, and the absence of habits in fat and protein consumption. We also found evidence of habit formation for food diversity. Comparing nutritional behavior of younger and older consumers, we find significant differences in the demand for fat and cigarettes. Older consumers seem to be more persistent in their drinking and smoking behavior. Similarly, men show higher habit persistence for alcohol and cigarette consumption. The results also suggest that among individual determinants, especially education, income and employment have statistically significant impacts on consumption behavior. Regarding the macroeconomic variables, economic growth is negatively related to protein consumption, while regional unemployment rate is negatively affecting the demand for protein and food diversity. Finally, Russian consumers react to the price changes of alcohol, cigarettes, fat and protein as suggested by theory. Consumer demand for food diversity responds negatively to price changes of alcohol and cigarettes, but positively to the price of fat.
Food consumption Diet diversity Smoking Alcohol Health Economic transition Russia