Objectives: We examined the association between diet quality and estimated diet costs.
Methods: Freely chosen diets of 837 French adults were assessed by a dietary history method. Mean national food prices for 57 foods were used to estimate diet costs.
Results: Diets high in fat, sugar, and grains were associated with lower diet costs after adjustment for energy intakes, gender, and age. For most levels of energy intake, each additional 100 g of fats and sweets was associated with a 0.05-0.40 per day reduction in diet costs. In contrast, each additional 100 g of fruit and vegetables was associated with a 0.18-0.29 per day increase in diet costs.
Conclusions: Diets high in fats and sweets represent a low-cost option to the consumer, whereas the recommended "prudent" diets cost more.