What’s the cost of a healthy diet in terms of achieving RDAs?
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
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 ®sh, 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.
Permanent HTML link