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Optimising healthy and safe fish intake recommendations: a trade-off between personal preference and cost

  • Maria Persson (a1), Sisse Fagt (a1) and Maarten J. Nauta (a1)


Individuals may perceive personalised dietary advice as more relevant and motivational than national guidelines. Personal preference and food cost are factors that can affect consumer decisions. The objective of this study was to present a method for modelling and analysing the trade-off between deviation from preference and food cost for optimised personalised dietary recommendations. Quadratic programming was applied to minimise deviation from fish preference and cost simultaneously with different weights on the cost for 3016 Danish adults (whose dietary intake and body weight were recorded in a national dietary survey). Model constraints included recommendations for EPA, DHA and vitamin D and tolerable levels for methyl mercury, dioxins and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls. When only minimising deviation from preference, 50 % of the study population should be recommended to increase fish intake, 48 % should be suggested to maintain current consumption and 2 % should be suggested to decrease fish consumption. When only minimising cost, the vast majority (99 %) should be recommended to only consume herring, which is the least-expensive fish species. By minimising deviation from preference and cost simultaneously with different weights on the cost, personalised optimal trade-off curves between deviation from fish intake preference and fish cost could be generated for each individual in our study population, except for twenty-two individuals (0·7 %) whose contaminant background exposure was too high. In the future, the method of this paper could be applied in the personal communication of healthy and safe food recommendations that fit the preferences of individual consumers.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: M. Persson, email


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Optimising healthy and safe fish intake recommendations: a trade-off between personal preference and cost

  • Maria Persson (a1), Sisse Fagt (a1) and Maarten J. Nauta (a1)


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