Replacing fats and sweets with vegetables and fruits--a question of cost

Am J Public Health. 2004 Sep;94(9):1555-9. doi: 10.2105/ajph.94.9.1555.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Choice Behavior
  • Diet Surveys
  • Dietary Fats / adverse effects
  • Dietary Fats / economics*
  • Dietary Sucrose / adverse effects
  • Dietary Sucrose / economics*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Food / economics
  • France / epidemiology
  • Fruit / economics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Class
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Vegetables / economics*


  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Sucrose