The new Nordic diet - consumer expenditures and economic incentives estimated from a controlled intervention

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Jørgen Dejgård Jensen, Sanne Kellebjerg Poulsen

Background: Several studies suggest that a healthy diet with high emphasis on nutritious, low-energy components such as fruits, vegetables, and seafood tends to be more costly for consumers. Derived from the ideas from the New Nordic Cuisine – and inspired by the Mediterranean diet, the New Nordic Diet (NND) has been developed as a palatable, healthy and sustainable diet based on products from the Nordic region. The objective of the study is to investigate economic consequences for the consumers of the NND, compared with an Average Danish Diet (ADD).
Methods: Combine quantity data from a randomized controlled ad libitum dietary 6 month intervention for central obese adults (18-65 years) and market retail price data of the products consumed in the intervention. Adjust consumed quantities to market price incentives using econometrically estimated price elasticities.
Results: Average daily food expenditure of the ADD as represented in the unadjusted intervention (ADD-i) amounted to 36.02 DKK for the participants. The daily food expenditure in the unadjusted New Nordic Diet (NND-i) costs 44.80 DKK per day per head, and is hence about 25% more expensive than the Average Danish Diet (or about 17% when adjusting for energy content of the diet). Adjusting for price incentives in a real market setting, the estimated cost of the Average Danish Diet is reduced by 2.50 DKK (ADD-m), compared to the unadjusted ADD-i diet, whereas the adjusted cost of the New Nordic Diet (NND-m) is reduced by about 3.50 DKK, compared to the unadjusted NND-i. The distribution of food cost is however much more heterogeneous among consumers within the NND than within the ADD.
Conclusion: On average, the New Nordic Diet is 24-25 per cent more expensive than an Average Danish Diet at the current market prices in Denmark (and 16-17 per cent, when adjusting for energy content).
Original languageEnglish
Article number1114
JournalBMC Public Health
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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