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Optimisation Modelling to Assess Cost of Dietary Improvement in Remote Aboriginal Australia

Brimblecombe, Julie K., Ferguson, Megan M., Liberato, Selma C., O'Dea, Kerin and Riley, Malcolm (2013). Optimisation Modelling to Assess Cost of Dietary Improvement in Remote Aboriginal Australia. PLoS One,8(12):e83587-1-e83587-11.

Document type: Journal Article
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NHMRC Grant No. ID545253
Title Optimisation Modelling to Assess Cost of Dietary Improvement in Remote Aboriginal Australia
Author Brimblecombe, Julie K.
Ferguson, Megan M.
Liberato, Selma C.
O'Dea, Kerin
Riley, Malcolm
Journal Name PLoS One
Publication Date 2013
Volume Number 8
Issue Number 12
ISSN 1932-6203   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84894282105
Start Page e83587-1
End Page e83587-11
Total Pages 11
Place of Publication United States of America
Publisher Public Library of Science
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Background
The cost and dietary choices required to fulfil nutrient recommendations defined nationally, need investigation, particularly for disadvantaged populations.

We used optimisation modelling to examine the dietary change required to achieve nutrient requirements at minimum cost for an Aboriginal population in remote Australia, using where possible minimally-processed whole foods.

A twelve month cross-section of population-level purchased food, food price and nutrient content data was used as the baseline. Relative amounts from 34 food group categories were varied to achieve specific energy and nutrient density goals at minimum cost while meeting model constraints intended to minimise deviation from the purchased diet.

Simultaneous achievement of all nutrient goals was not feasible. The two most successful models (A & B) met all nutrient targets except sodium (146.2% and 148.9% of the respective target) and saturated fat (12.0% and 11.7% of energy). Model A was achieved with 3.2% lower cost than the baseline diet (which cost approximately AUD$13.01/person/day) and Model B at 7.8% lower cost but with a reduction in energy of 4.4%. Both models required very large reductions in sugar sweetened beverages (−90%) and refined cereals (−90%) and an approximate four-fold increase in vegetables, fruit, dairy foods, eggs, fish and seafood, and wholegrain cereals.

This modelling approach suggested population level dietary recommendations at minimal cost based on the baseline purchased diet. Large shifts in diet in remote Aboriginal Australian populations are needed to achieve national nutrient targets. The modeling approach used was not able to meet all nutrient targets at less than current food expenditure.

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Additional Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Description for Link Link to CC Attribution 4.0 License

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