Document Detail

The least-cost low-carbohydrate diet is expensive.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19083381     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
This article describes the use of operations research methods to study the minimum possible cost of a low-carbohydrate diet. The study compares this cost to the minimum cost of a diet with no limitation on carbohydrate. The rationale for this study is the popularity of the low-carbohydrate diets and their perceived high cost. The method used was an operations research approach to find a set of least cost diets, varying the required carbohydrate. This method was chosen to avoid potential concerns with real diets that may be nutritionally deficient or could be had for a lower cost. The major finding is that the cheapest possible low-carbohydrate diet costs about triple the cost of the cheapest diet with no constraint on carbohydrate. Furthermore, the minimum cost of a diet low in both carbohydrate and fat is 5 to 10 times the cost of the cheapest diet, depending on the relative amounts of these nutrients. As carbohydrate and fat are constrained, cost increases dramatically and nonlinearly. The study identifies which nutrients had the greatest effect on cost for a low-carbohydrate and low-fat diet.
John F Raffensperger
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Nutrition research (New York, N.Y.)     Volume:  28     ISSN:  1879-0739     ISO Abbreviation:  Nutr Res     Publication Date:  2008 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-12-16     Completed Date:  2009-03-06     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8303331     Medline TA:  Nutr Res     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  6-12     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Management, University of Canterbury, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand.
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MeSH Terms
Costs and Cost Analysis
Diet, Carbohydrate-Restricted / economics*
Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage,  economics*
Dietary Fats / administration & dosage,  economics*
Nutritional Requirements*
Nutritive Value
Obesity / diet therapy*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Dietary Carbohydrates; 0/Dietary Fats

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