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Jayachandran Variyam

Division Director


Jay Variyam is Director of ERS's Food Economics Division. He previously served as chief of the division's Diet, Safety, and Health Economics Branch. His research interests include understanding the determinants of nutrition, diet quality, and diet-related health outcomes, with special focus on the roles of information, nutrition knowledge, and educational attainment.


Aside from Jay's work on food, nutrition and health economics, he has published research on small business economics and on econometric models involving latent variables. He has taught econometrics courses at the USDA Graduate School. He has also worked as an agricultural officer in the state department of agriculture in Kerala, India.


Jay holds a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of Georgia. He completed his Master's degree in agricultural economics and B.Sc. in agriculture at the Kerala Agricultural University, Kerala, India.

Selected Publications:

Kuchler, F., E. Golan, J.N. Variyam, and S.R. Crutchfield. Obesity Policy and the Law of Unintended Consequences, USDA, ERS, Amber Waves, 3(3), June 2005, pp. 26-33.

Variyam, J.N. Nutrition Labeling in the Food-Away-From-Home Sector: An Economic Assessment, USDA, ERS, ERR 4, April 2005.

Variyam, J.N. The Price is Right: Economics and the Rise in Obesity, USDA, ERS, Amber Waves, 3(1), February 2005, pp. 20-27.

Variyam, J.N., and A. Mishra. "The Well-being of U.S. Farm Workers: A Look at Health," Review of Agricultural Economics, 27(3), (2005):369-376.

Finkelstein, E., S. French, J.N. Variyam, and P. Haines. "Pros and Cons of Proposed Interventions to Promote Healthy Eating," American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 27(3S), (2004):163-171.

Philipson, T., C. Dai, L. Helmchen, and J.N. Variyam. The Economics of Obesity: A Report on the Workshop Held at the Economic Research Service, Washington, D.C., USDA, ERS, E-FAN-04-004, May 2004.

Kuchler, F., and J.N. Variyam. "Mistakes Were Made: Misperception as a Barrier to Reducing Overweight," International Journal of Obesity, 27, (2003):856-861.

Variyam, J.N. Factors Affecting the Macronutrient Intake of U.S. Adults, USDA, ERS, TBe 1901, April 2003.

Lin, B.H., J.N. Variyam, J. Allshouse, and J. Cromartie. Food and Agricultural Commodity Consumption in the United States: Looking Ahead to 2020, USDA, ERS, AER 820, February 2003.

Blisard, W.N., J.N. Variyam, and J. Cromartie. Food Expenditures by U.S. Households: Looking Ahead to 2020, USDA, ERS, AER 821, February 2003.

Variyam, J.N. "Double Impact: Educational Attainment and the Macronutrient Intake of U.S. Adults," Chapter 4, Health, Nutrition, and Food Demand, W.S. Chern and K. Rickertsen (Eds.), CABI Publishing, Cambridge, MA, (2003):53-72.

Variyam, J.N., J. Blaylock, and D. Smallwood. "Characterizing the Distribution of Macronutrient Intake Among U.S. Adults: A Quantile Regression Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 84(2), (2002):454-466.

Variyam, J.N. Patterns of Caloric Intakes and Body Mass Index Among U.S. Adults, USDA, ERS, FoodReview, 25(3), December 2002, pp. 16-20.

Kuchler, F., and J.N. Variyam. Misperceptions in Self-Assessed Weight Status Vary Along Demographic Lines, USDA, ERS, FoodReview, 25(3) December 2002, pp. 21-27.

Variyam, J.N. and E. Golan. New Health Information is Reshaping Food Choices, USDA, ERS, FoodReview, 25, Spring 2002, pp. 13-18.

Variyam, J.N. Overweight Children: Is Parental Nutrition Knowledge a Factor?, USDA, ERS, FoodReview, 24, May-August 2001, pp. 18-22.

Crutchfield, S., F. Kuchler, and J.N. Variyam. "The Economic Benefits of Nutrition Labeling: A Case Study for Fresh Meat and Poultry Products," Journal of Consumer Policy, 24, (2001):185-207.

Variyam, J.N., Y. Shim, and J. Blaylock. "Consumer Misperceptions of Diet Quality," Journal of Nutrition Education, 33, (2001):314-321.

Kantor, L.S., J.N. Variyam, J. Allshouse, B.H. Lin, and J. Putnam. "Choose a Variety of Grains Daily, Especially Whole Grains," Journal of Nutrition, 131, February 2001, pp. 473S-486S.

McCullough, M.L., D. Feskanich, M.J. Stampfer, B.A. Rosner, F.B. Hu, D.J. Hunter, J.N. Variyam, G.A. Colditz, and W.C. Willett. "Adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Risk of Major Chronic Disease in Women," American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 72, November 2000, pp. 1214-1222.

McCullough, M.L., D. Feskanich, E.B. Rimm, E.L. Giovannucci, A. Ascherio, J.N. Variyam, D. Spiegelman, M.J. Stampfer, and W.C. Willett. "Adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Risk of Major Chronic Disease in Men," American Journal of Clinical Nutrition72, November 2000, pp. 1223-1231.

Variyam, J.N., J. Blaylock, B.H. Lin, K. Ralston, and D. Smallwood. "Mother's Nutrition Knowledge and Children's Dietary Intakes," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 81, (1999):373-384.

Last updated: Thursday, April 25, 2013

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