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Measuring the cost of dietary diversity: novel price indexes to monitor access to nutritious diets











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    Book (stand-alone)
    Guidelines for measuring household and individual dietary diversity 2011
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    Please note: A recent development has led to a new dietary diversity indicator, the Minimum Dietary Diversity-Women (MDD-W), to replace the Women’s Dietary Diversity Score (WDDS). However, the procedures for the assessment of Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS) remain unchanged. New standalone guidelines for both the MDD-W and the HDDS are being developed and will be available soon from http://www.fao.org/food/nutr ition-assessment/en/. It is recommended to follow the new procedures and guidelines for assessing dietary diversity in any future studies.

    Obtaining detailed data on household food access or individual dietary intake can be time consuming and expensive, and requires a high level of technical skill both in data collection and analysis. Dietary diversity is a qualitative measure of food consumption that reflects household access to a variety of foods, and is also a proxy for nut rient adequacy of the diet of individuals. The dietary diversity questionnaire represents a rapid, user-friendly and easily administered low-cost assessment tool. Scoring and analysis of the information collected with the questionnaire is straightforward. The dietary diversity scores described in these guidelines consist of a simple count of food groups that a household or an individual has consumed over the preceding 24 hours. The guidelines describe the use of the dietary diversity quest ionnaire at both the household and individual level, for which calculation of the score is slightly different in each case. The data collected can also be analyzed to provide information on specific food groups of interest. The household dietary diversity score (HDDS) is meant to reflect, in a snapshot form, the economic ability of a household to access a variety of foods. Studies have shown that an increase in dietary diversity is associated with socio-economic status and household food s ecurity (household energy availability) (Hoddinot and Yohannes, 2002; Hatloy et al., 2000).
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    Document
    Are healthy diets affordable? Using new data on retail prices and diet costs to guide agricultural and food policy
    Concept note
    2022
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    The concept outlines the context, objectives, target audience, agenda and speakers for two linked live online events on the costs and affordability of healthy diets. The first is a World Bank Online Event on Thursday, July 14th followed by an IFPRI Policy Seminar on July 15th, both co-organized by FAO and Tufts University. These two events follow on from the July 12th official launch The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2022 report which announced the latest updates to the UN system’s standardized global data on the Cost and Affordability of a Healthy Diet (CoAHD). Those data provide official FAO statistics for the daily cost of a healthy diet as well as the number and percentage of people who cannot afford a healthy diet in each country. The two online events are designed to equip decision-makers and analysts with the newly release findings can be used to guide agricultural and agrifood systems towards improved nutrition. The World Bank will also disseminate those three headline estimates plus more granular data and indicators on diet costs and affordability in a new Food Prices for Nutrition Data Hub.
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    Book (series)
    Cost and affordability of healthy diets across and within countries
    Background paper for The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020. FAO Agricultural Development Economics Technical Study No. 9
    2020
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    Price and affordability are key barriers to accessing sufficient, safe, nutritious food to meet dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. In this study, the least-cost items available in local markets are identified to estimate the cost of three diet types: energy sufficient, nutrient adequate, and healthy (meeting food-based dietary guidelines). For price and availability the World Bank’s International Comparison Program (ICP) dataset is used, which provides food prices in local currency units (LCU) for 680 foods and non-alcoholic beverages in 170 countries in 2017. In addition, country case studies are developed with national food price datasets in United Republic of Tanzania, Malawi, Ethiopia, Ghana and Myanmar. The findings reveal that healthy diets by any definition are far more expensive than the entire international poverty line of USD 1.90, let alone the upper bound portion of the poverty line that can credibly be reserved for food of USD 1.20. The cost of healthy diets exceeds food expenditures in most countries in the Global South. The findings suggest that nutrition education and behaviour change alone will not substantially improve dietary consumption where nutrient adequate and healthy diets, even in their cheapest form, are unaffordable for the majority of the poor. To make healthy diets cheaper, agricultural policies, research, and development need to shift toward a diversity of nutritious foods.

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