Document Type : Original Article(s)


1 PhD Student, Food Security Research Center AND Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Professor, Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinical Sciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Food Security Research Center AND Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan AND Professor, Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics AND Diabetes Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinical Sciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


BACKGROUND: Although several studies have assessed the price of different food groups in developed countries, there is scarce evidence regarding developing countries. Also, there is no report regarding the price of cardioprotective compared with unhealthy foods. The aim of this study was to determine the trend of food cost across different food groups (cardioprotective vs. unhealthy) and to assess the association between food cost and nutritional quality of foods in Iran. METHODS: A list of foods consumed frequently by Iranian population was provided. Nutritional quality of foods was assessed by energy density and nutrient rich foods (NRF) index. Food groups were defined according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) MyPlate food groups. The price of food groups was reported as kcal/price and price/serving. RESULTS: Although a positive association between different types of NRF, nutrient content of foods and food price was observed, there was an inverse relationship between food price and energy density. The kcal/price of "oils" was less than "whole grains" and "refined grains". "Sugar, sweets and beverages" and "beans and legumes" food groups had equal kcal/price media. Among healthy foods for cardiovascular system, nuts had the highest price/serving. On the other hand, among unhealthy foods for cardiovascular system, processed meat had the highest price/serving. The price/serving of healthy oils was similar to saturated and trans fatty acids rich oils. Also, the price/serving of low-fat (healthy) vs. high fat (unhealthy) dairy was not different. Similar finding was observed for white meat vs. red meat. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings revealed that the pattern of food price in Iran is different from developed countries. Also, we found that Iranians can consume a cardioprotective diet without any economic pressure. 


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