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What is the cost of a healthy diet in terms of achieving RDAs?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2007

Piero Conforti*
Affiliation:
Istituto Nazionale di Economia Agraria, Rome, Italy
Amleto D'Amicis
Affiliation:
Istituto Nazionale della Nutrizione, Rome, Italy
*
*Corresponding author: Email conforti@inea.it
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Abstract

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Objective

Assessing how the Italian average food pattern would be affected in terms of consumption structure and expenditure by the adoption of nutritional prescriptions.

Design

A linear programming model with nutritional and food habits constraints was employed to generate a pattern following recommended daily allowances (RDAs) and nutritional guidelines provided for the Italian population.

Setting

Food consumption data from ISTAT Household Budget Survey of Italian population.

Subjects

Italian families investigated by the Family Budget Survey of the National Institute of Statistics.

Results

Compared to actual behaviour, the pattern generated by the model implies an increased consumption of vegetables, pasta, rice and fresh fish, and a decreased consumption of meats, bread, sugars and cakes, and especially fats and oils. At given prices, total expenditure is lower than actual expenditure.

Conclusions

Differences between actual behaviour and the generated pattern are consistent with long-term trends in food consumption. The adoption of RDAs is unlikely to result in an increased food expenditure.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © CABI Publishing 2000

References

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