Dietary Cost Associated with Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet

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Summary of the article

A dietary cost associated with adherence to the Mediterranean diet, and its variation by socio-economic factors in the UK Fenland Study

The high cost of healthy foods

The high cost of healthy foods can be a hindrance to healthy eating among many people. As such, this study examines the relationship between nutritional price and observance to the Mediterranean diet in countries not found in the Mediterranean region (Tong et al., 2018). The research is done in Fenland to evaluate these parameters using cross-sectional statistics from over 12 000 grown persons in the United Kingdom. During data collection, responses to more than 120 item FFQ are used to analyze a Mediterranean diet score (MDS). In the study, the dietary cost is projected by comparing food consumption statistics with retail prices of five main supermarkets in Fenland (Tong et al., 2018). By use of multivariable-adjusted linear regression, it examines the link between MDS and specific foods with dietary cost in a total and comparative scales.

Variables affected by income, education, marital status, and occupation

Subsequently, it assesses the extent of the association in variables affected by income, education, marital status, and occupation. On this note, the study is piloted by testing interaction and mediation analysis by these parameters (Tong et al., 2018). Hence, it is noted that partakers with high observance have greater cost linked with the healthier components such as fruits, vegetables, and fish as well as lower expense related to the unhealthy composites like sweets, red meat, and processed meat. Thus, in summation 20±7 % which is 95 % CI 14±3, 27±0 of the Mediterranean Diet Score cost relationship is clarified by a carefully chosen socio-economic aspects (Tong et al., 2018). In essence, the MDS cost association is more substantial in lower socio-economic groups.

Critique of the article

However, the probable economic obstructions of high observance may be offset using cost saving from decreasing unhealthy food intake. Even though the health benefits of observing the Mediterranean diet are revealed, confirmations of dietary cost or its affordability related to this diet are insufficient, specifically in the non-Mediterranean locations. The evidence is also missing on whether there is a steady association among different socio-economic divisions, even though it influences purchasing patterns associated with food prices and as such this study tries to evaluate this so that precise and definite data can be established. Dietary cost of Fenland participants is projected by assigning a food price variables to each of the respective numbers of food codes which are set at 290 in the FFQ's food as well as nutrient database, by use of formerly described approaches. The study uses descriptive statistics to review the features of participants in observance of the Mediterranean diet, as evaluated using the MDS.

Although previous researchers examined the relationship between the Mediterranean diet and dietary cost, this study is the first to establish the degree to which socio-economic elements add to this association hence its results are highly consistent with some available studies on this parameters. Further, the data is validated by results obtained from a similar study done in Canada. However, the research does not include information contained in each food group hence a cohort bias can be existent since Fenland group has lower dominance of obesity and smoking in regards to the population in the United Kingdom; therefore, it may limit the generalizability of results. Besides, price statistics are got from supermarket prices which may neither be a reflection of real expenditure nor take into consideration regional price variation in different time of year or type of creation participants make their purchases.

Also, price data is collected in 2012 while food consumption data is collected from 2004 to 2015 thus not accounting for possible variations in dietary intake over this time due to price changes or inflation in certain foodstuff. Surrogate categorical parameters of the socio-economic position are also used in the evaluates and this may not adequately capture socioeconomic disparity in the inhabitants because both the MDS and dietary cost are got from the equivalent FFQ hence it cannot be ruled out that the likelihood level of relationship may be artefactual. As a result of the FFQ structure, facts in dietary intake like the culinary methods category of product consumed is not captured, and this may be a determinant factor in the study variable. Since the study adopts a cross-sectional design and involves remaining confounding, it cannot show any contributory relationship between increasing Mediterranean diet observance and dietary cost.


Tong, T., Imamura, F., Monsivais, P., Brage, S., Griffin, S., Wareham, N., & Forouhi, N. (2018). A dietary cost associated with adherence to the Mediterranean diet, and its variation by socio-economic factors in the UK Fenland Study. British Journal of Nutrition, 119(6), 685-694. doi:10.1017/S0007114517003993

October 05, 2023

Food Health Life


Medicine Lifestyle

Subject area:

Nutrition Diet

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