Assessing healthy diet affordability in a cohort with major depressive disorders

Opie, Rachelle S., Segal, Leonie, Jacka, Felice N., Nicholls, Laura, Dash, Sarah, Pizzinga, Josephine and Itsiopoulos, Catherine 2015, Assessing healthy diet affordability in a cohort with major depressive disorders, Journal of public health and epidemiology, vol. 7, no. 5, pp. 159-169, doi: 10.5897/JPHE2014.0668.

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Title Assessing healthy diet affordability in a cohort with major depressive disorders
Author(s) Opie, Rachelle S.ORCID iD for Opie, Rachelle S.
Segal, Leonie
Jacka, Felice N.ORCID iD for Jacka, Felice N.
Nicholls, Laura
Dash, Sarah
Pizzinga, Josephine
Itsiopoulos, Catherine
Journal name Journal of public health and epidemiology
Volume number 7
Issue number 5
Start page 159
End page 169
Total pages 11
Publisher Academic Journals
Place of publication Lagos, Nigeria
Publication date 2015-05
ISSN 2141-2316
Keyword(s) depression
cost analysis
food cost
healthy diet
Mediterranean diet
Summary Although, the cost of food is commonly described as a barrier to consuming a healthy diet, the evidence for this viewpoint has been inconsistent to date. The purpose of this study was to assess whether a healthy diet is affordable for a sample population with major depressive disorder and current unhealthy eating patterns, enrolled in supporting the modification of lifestyle in lowered emotional states (SMILES) trial. The first 20 participants of the SMILES trial were invited to complete a 7-day food diary at baseline. A cost analysis of a modified Mediterranean diet (recommended for trial participants) and 7-day food diaries of participants enrolled in the randomized controlled trial was conducted. Trial participants spent an estimated mean of $138 per week on food and beverages for personal consumption, whereas the total food and beverage costs per person per week for the recommended modified Mediterranean diet was estimated at $112, both based on mid-range product cost. The modified Mediterranean diet at $1.54 per mega-joules (MJ) was cheaper per energy unit than the cost of the current dietary intake of the SMILES participants included in this study at a mean of $2.35 per MJ. These study findings suggest that the adoption of a healthy modified Mediterranean diet does not cost more than a poor quality diet. Thus, failure to comply with healthy diets is unlikely to reflect affordability. Public health messages should incorporate the finding that healthy eating is not associated with increased costs and in fact may well involve savings to the household budget. Practical strategies and techniques for selecting healthy nutritious foods on a budget could support the achievement of desired dietary goals for preventing and managing chronic disease.
Language eng
DOI 10.5897/JPHE2014.0668
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2015, The Authors
Free to Read? No
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
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