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How expensive is a cardioprotective diet? Analysis from the CRESSIDA study

  • Dianne P Reidlinger (a1) (a2), Thomas AB Sanders (a2) and Louise M Goff (a2)

To determine whether a cardioprotective dietary intervention based on UK dietary guidelines was more expensive than a conventional UK diet.


Cost analysis of food records collected at baseline and after a 12-week dietary intervention of a cardioprotective diet v. conventional UK diet.


A randomized controlled dietary intervention study (CRESSIDA; ISRCTN 92382106) investigating the impact of following a diet consistent with UK dietary guidelines on CVD risk.


Participants were healthy UK residents aged 40–70 years. A sub-sample of participants was randomly selected from those who completed the cardioprotective dietary intervention (n 20) or the conventional UK dietary intervention (n 20).


Baseline diet costs did not differ between groups; mean daily food cost for all participants was £6·12 (sd £1·83). The intervention diets were not more expensive: at end point the mean daily cost of the cardioprotective diet was £6·43 (sd £2·05) v. the control diet which was £6·53 (sd £1·53; P=0·86).


There was no evidence that consumption of a cardioprotective diet was more expensive than a conventional dietary pattern. Despite the perception that healthier foods are less affordable, these results suggest that cost may not be a barrier when modifying habitual intake and under tightly controlled trial conditions. The identification of specific food groups that may be a cost concern for individuals may be useful for tailoring interventions for CVD prevention for individuals and populations.

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