(P12-003-20) Cost-Effective Options for Increasing Consumption of Underconsumed Food Groups in the United States
Objectives: Current intakes of fruits, vegetables and whole grains are lower than recommended levels with cost often cited as a barrier to increasing intake. This study evaluated current contributors to these food groups to determine the most cost-effective options within each food group. Analyses were also done to determine cost-effective contributors to underconsumed nutrients among foods and beverages contributing to these underconsumed food groups.
Methods: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2013-2016 (N=10,112 adults 19+ y) was analyzed for current contributors to fruit, vegetable and whole grain intakes. Prices of these foods and beverages were then calculated per cup (fruits and vegetables) or ounce equivalent (whole grains) using the USDA National Food Prices Database after adjustment for inflation. Prices for each food/beverage were also calculated for underconsumed micronutrients (vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, iron, choline, zinc).
Results: The top five most cost-effective contributors to whole grain intakes were oatmeal, popcorn, rice, yeast breads and pasta/noodles/cooked grains; oatmeal was also a top 10 cost-effective contributor to vitamin A, magnesium, iron and zinc while rice was a top 10 cost-effective contributor to iron and zinc. For fruit the most cost-effective options were 100% apple juice, 100% citrus juice, bananas, apples and melons. Both 100% apple juice and 100% citrus juice were also in the top five cost-effective contributors to vitamin C. The five most cost-effective contributors to vegetables were white potatoes, mashed potatoes, lettuce/lettuce salads, carrots and string beans; carrots were also the top cost-effective contributor to vitamin A.
Conclusions: These data highlight the lowest cost contributors to underconsumed food groups in adults, most of which are rich in underconsumed micronutrients. These results should be communicated to the public to promote intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains at minimal cost in order to improve overall diet quality.
Funding Sources: Financial support for this study was provided by PepsiCo, Inc. The views expressed in this abstract are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of PepsiCo, Inc.