Publication Date

January 2002

Publication Details

Levy, A, A Theory of Rational Junk-Food Consumption, Working Paper 02-11, Department of Economics, University of Wollongong, 2002.


An expected lifetime-utility maximizing diet of junk and health food is analyzed. The stationary junk-food consumption level is equal to the ratio of the recovery capacity of a perfectly healthy person to the sensitivity of her health to junk food. The greater the difference between the relative taste and the stationary relative price of junk food, rate of time preference, and elasticity of satisfaction from food, the better the stationary health of the rational junk-food consumer. The greater the full capacity income, recovery capacity, and health sensitivity to junk-food, the worse the stationary health of the rational junkfood consumer.