External Event
Virtual Seminar

Are healthy diets affordable? Using new data on retail prices and diet costs to guide agricultural and food policy

Online seminar
IFPRI, Tufts University and the World Bank

New Food Prices for Nutrition data in the SOFI 2022 report launched on July 6th uses retail food prices to compute diet costs and the number of people who cannot afford a healthy diet globally. Underlying costs by food group will be published simultaneously on a new Food Prices for Nutrition DataHub hosted at the World Bank, and subnational data are being used for a wide range of in-country research across Africa and Asia.

The new data and methods showcased in this seminar are key tools for policy analysis and monitoring in global and national food systems, measuring food access using retail prices of the most affordable items available at each place and time in quantities needed to meet global nutritional standards for an active and healthy life.

Key innovations include:

  • use of retail prices for many differentiated food products
  • conversion of item prices to standard units, accounting for edible fraction and water weight,
  • selection of least-cost items in quantities sufficient for nutrient adequacy or dietary guidelines,
  • comparison to income based on household survey data as a measure of affordability
  • customization of standard methods to address specific needs in particular settings

This Policy Seminar will feature Food Prices for Nutrition project leaders and participants around the world, who will discuss how policy analysts and researchers can use the new methods and data in their own work. 

This is the fourth event in an IFPRI seminar series on Food and Fertilizer Price Trends: Impacts on global food security.

Welcome and introduction to the Food Prices for Nutrition project

  • Marie Ruel, Director, Poverty, Health and Nutrition Division, IFPRI
  • William Masters, Principal Investigator, Food Prices for Nutrition project, Tufts University

Data sources and methods for policy-relevant analysis of diet costs and affordability

  • Anna Herforth, Co-Director, Food Prices for Nutrition project, Tufts University

Results and implications of global variation in diet costs and affordability

  • Yan Bai, Economist in Global Food and Nutrition, World Bank Development Data Group and Zhejiang University School of Public Affairs

Frontiers of research on food policy based on consumer prices, diet costs and affordability

Global monitoring of the cost and affordability of healthy diet and policy analysis to inform agrifood systems transformation

  • Cindy Holleman, Senior Economist, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Q&A Discussion