Cost of the Diet: A method and software to calculate the lowest cost of meeting recommended intakes of energy and nutrients from local foods

When food is available, the main obstacle to access is usually economic: people may not be able to afford a nutritious diet, even if they know what foods to eat. The Cost of the Diet method and software was developed to apply linear programming to better understand the extent to which poverty may affect people’s ability to meet their nutritional specifications. This paper describes the principles of the method; the mathematics underlying the linear programming; the parameters and assumptions on which the calculations are based; and then illustrates the output of the software using examples taken from assessments.


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Published 2018-01-31