The cost of achieving the Eatwell Guide diet update: report
KAUR A., SCARBOROUGH P.
Background: The Eatwell Guide is a pie-chart representing the UK government’s dietary advice and is used to promote healthy diets in a range of settings. In 2016, we estimated that the cost of the current diet was £6.02 (95% Confidence Intervals [CIs] £5.96 to £6.08) per adult, per day and the cost of achieving the Eatwell Guide diet (i.e. a diet that meets the dietary recommendations) was £5.99 (95% CIs £5.93 to £6.05) per adult, per day. The food price data used for the 2016 analyses were collected using automated data collection methods to scrape the prices of 7575 food items listed on a UK supermarket price comparison website. Aims: The aim of this project is to update the price estimates used for calculating for the cost of achieving a healthy diet/the Eatwell Guide diet. The research questions are: 1. What is the cost of achieving a healthy diet (i.e. the Eatwell Guide diet) whilst deviating as little as possible from current diet patterns? 2. What is the cost of achieving a healthy diet if only “budget” versions of food items are purchased? 3. What is the cost of achieving a healthy diet if only “premium” versions of food items are purchased? Methods: We estimated the cost of achieving the Eatwell Guide diet through linking food price data from foodDB - a time-stamped, weekly updated database of all foods and drinks available for purchases from the UK’s leading online supermarkets - with food consumption estimates from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey and the 2016 Eatwell Guide study. We calculated the median, inter-quartile range (IQR), and the 25th and 75th percentiles for the prices of the matched foodDB food items for 125 NDNS sub-food groups. The cost of the Eatwell Guide diet was calculated by summing the median prices for each of the 125 sub-food groups. The sum of the 25th percentile and the 75th percentile of the 125 sub-food group prices was used as a proxy for “budget”/lower cost product ranges and “premium”/higher cost ranges (respectively). Findings: Based on data for 13912 food items, the cost of achieving a healthy diet is £6.82 per person, per day. If only “budget” versions of foods are purchased the cost of a healthy diet is £4.55 per person, per day. If only premium versions of foods are purchased then the cost is £11.46 per person, per day.