Estimating the cost of a healthy diet: testing an approach based on nutritionally analysed meal plans

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This project acts as an exploratory piece to provide an estimation of the cost of a healthy balanced diet from a supermarket, based on Food Standards Scotland’s Eatwell Everyday resource, which provides example shopping lists and meal plans for achieving a healthy diet over the course of a week. This project also developed a vegetarian version of the Eatwell Everyday shopping list and meal plan, to assess the differences in cost between this and the original.

Access Eatwell Everyday.

The vegetarian meal plan used a slightly different methodology to the original to calculate food and drink quantities which will have influenced the final menu costs and nutritional analyses thereby affecting comparison between the meal plans. As a result, this project was been designed as a proof of concept piece, outlining a possible methodology for assessing the cost of a healthy shopping basket.

The results demonstrated a wide range of prices for items within the healthy basket, suggesting that making use of budget and lower cost options are a successful way to cut the cost of a weekly shop.