Jay Variyam

Division Director
202-694-5400
jvariyam@ers.usda.gov
Google Scholar profile

Briefly

Jayachandran (Jay) Variyam is the Director of ERS’s Food Economics Division and a member of the Federal Government’s Senior Executive Service. He leads ERS’s food policy research focused on food and nutrition assistance programs, food security, food markets, food safety, and consumer food choices. A major emphasis is the development and analysis of consumer and food market data, including data on food prices, household food purchases, consumer dietary behaviors, and time use. Jay is a steering committee member of the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) and a member of the Interagency Council on Human Nutrition Research.

Background

Before becoming the Division Director, Jay served as chief of the Food Economics Division's Diet, Safety, and Health Economics Branch. His research interests include understanding the determinants of food choices, 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 econometric courses at the USDA Graduate School. Jay has also worked as an agricultural officer in the state department of agriculture in Kerala, India.

Education

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

Xu X., J.N. Variyam, Z. Zhao, and F.J. Chaloupka. 2014. "Relative Food Prices and Obesity in U.S. Metropolitan Areas: 1976-2001," PLoS ONE 9(12): e114707.

Variyam, J.N. 2008. "Do Nutrition Labels Improve Dietary Outcomes?" Health Economics, 17(June): 695-708.

Kuchler, F., E. Golan, J.N. Variyam, and S.R. Crutchfield. 2005. "Obesity Policy and the Law of Unintended Consequences," Amber Waves 3(3), U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, June.

Variyam, J.N. 2005. Nutrition Labeling in the Food-Away-From-Home Sector: An Economic Assessment, ERR-4, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, April.

Variyam, J.N. 2005. "The Price is Right: Economics and the Rise in Obesity," Amber Waves 3(1), U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, February.

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

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

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

Kuchler, F., and J.N. Variyam. 2003. "Mistakes Were Made: Misperception as a Barrier to Reducing Overweight," International Journal of Obesity 27(7):856-861.

Variyam, J.N. 2003. Factors Affecting the Macronutrient Intake of U.S. Adults, TB-1901, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, April.

Lin, B.H., J.N. Variyam, J. Allshouse, and J. Cromartie. 2003. Food and Agricultural Commodity Consumption in the United States: Looking Ahead to 2020, AER-820, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, February.

Blisard, W.N., J.N. Variyam, and J. Cromartie. 2003. Food Expenditures by U.S. Households: Looking Ahead to 2020, AER-821, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, February.

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

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

Variyam, J.N. 2002. "Patterns of Caloric Intakes and Body Mass Index Among U.S. Adults," FoodReview 25(3):16-20, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, December.

Kuchler, F., and J.N. Variyam. 2002. "Misperceptions in Self-Assessed Weight Status Vary Along Demographic Lines," FoodReview 25(3):21-27, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, December.

Variyam, J.N., and E. Golan. 2002. "New Health Information is Reshaping Food Choices," FoodReview 25(1):13-18, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Spring.

Variyam, J.N. 2001. "Overweight Children: Is Parental Nutrition Knowledge a Factor?" FoodReview 24(2):18-22, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, May-August.

Crutchfield, S., F. Kuchler, and J.N. Variyam. 2001. "The Economic Benefits of Nutrition Labeling: A Case Study for Fresh Meat and Poultry Products," Journal of Consumer Policy 24(2):185-207.

Variyam, J.N., Y. Shim, and J.R. Blaylock. 2001. "Consumer Misperceptions of Diet Quality," Journal of Nutrition Education 33(6):314-321.

Kantor, L.S., J.N. Variyam, J. Allshouse, B.H. Lin, and J. Putnam. 2001. "Choose a Variety of Grains Daily, Especially Whole Grains: A Challenge for Consumers," The Journal of Nutrition 131(2S-1):473S-486S, February.

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. 2000. "Adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Risk of Major Chronic Disease in Women," American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 72(5):1214-1222, November.

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. 2000. "Adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Risk of Major Chronic Disease in Men," American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 72(5):1223-1231, November.

Variyam, J.N., J.R. Blaylock, B.H. Lin, K. Ralston, and D.M. Smallwood. 1999. "Mother's Nutrition Knowledge and Children's Dietary Intakes," American Journal of Agricultural Economics 81(2):373-384.