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Methods to Assess the Cost and Affordability of Nutritious and Healthy Diets: Summary of assessment methods

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Conducting dietary costing assessments involves collecting, compiling or collating data on local food prices, nutritional composition, and income or expenditure, employing various methodologies and software tools. These tools range from simple applications requiring minimal training to more complex software demanding a higher level of expertise. The choice of tool can be based on the purpose of the analysis, available time and resources, the flexibility needed in data adjustment, and the level of training needed. This paper focused on tools that are used globally.

The tools included in this paper are NutVal, WHO Diet Impact Assessment (DIA) Model, Cost and Affordability of a Healthy Diet (CoAHD), Optifood, Enhance, and Cost of a Nutrient Adequate Diet (CoNA).


This paper was commissioned and funded by Save the Children and prepared in collaboration with Tufts University, University of College London (UCL), World Food Programme (WFP), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), and Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). This paper is an update to the Indicators and Tools for the Cost of Nutritious Diets published in 2018.

Technical reviewers and contributors: Technical oversight was provided by Lilly Schofield (Save the Children UK) and Natalie Roschnik (Save the Children UK). Special thanks to William Masters (Tufts University), Rachel Gilbert (Tufts University), Anna Herforth (Food Prices for Nutrition), Jessica Wallingford (Tufts University), Andrew Seal (UCL), Sabrina Kuri (WFP), Saskia de Pee (WFP), Claudia Damu (WFP), Elaine Ferguson (LSHTM), Wendy Gonzalez (GAIN), Florencia Vasta (GAIN), Masud Rana (Save the Children UK), and Laura Swift (Save the Children UK) for their valuable technical input and review of the paper.

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coahd, cost of a healthy diet

cost and affordability

CotD, Cost of the Diet


healthy diet

nutritious food


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