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J Nutr Educ Behav. 2019 Mar;51(3):268-276. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2018.12.002.

Yes We Can: Eating Healthy on a Limited Budget.

Author information

1
Agricultural Issues Center, University of California, Davis, CA. Electronic address: jetter@primal.ucdavis.edu.
2
Mechoopda Indian Tribe of Chico Rancheria, Chico, CA.
3
Community Health, Northern Valley Indian Health, Inc, Willows, CA.
4
Department of Pediatrics, UC Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento, CA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study determined how people who live in low-income households can consume an affordable, nutritious diet.

DESIGN:

A community-based participatory research (CBPR) project was completed that developed and priced 2 weeks of healthy menus that met US Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Prices were collected from a market basket survey of 13 stores in the city of Chico during October, 2010. Initial menu development began in 2011-2012. Menus were reviewed in 2017 and reflect current guidelines.

SETTING:

Chico, CA.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Macro dietary objectives including the caloric content and servings of fat, sugar, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables. The cost of purchasing the market basket of goods for a family of 4 that achieved those objectives was determined.

RESULTS:

The 2 weeks of menus all met dietary objectives on average. The daily cost varied from $19 to $31 when food was purchased from a bulk supermarket, with an average daily cost of $25. Average monthly cost was $756 in 2010 dollars, or $838 in 2015 dollars.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

People living in low-income households can afford to eat healthily. Using CBPR principles, daily targets, and technical support, public health partners can partner with community members for member-defined solutions that are affordable and meet dietary guidelines. Access to stores that sell low-price bulk items is important to being able to afford a healthy diet.

KEYWORDS:

cost; healthy eating; low-income; market basket study

PMID:
30851840
PMCID:
PMC6601616
[Available on 2020-03-01]
DOI:
10.1016/j.jneb.2018.12.002

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