Author ORCID Identifier

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Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences


Background. Cost is a commonly reported barrier to healthy eating. This is a secondary research analysis designed to examine the food expenditures of young adults on a university campus following the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) MyPlate guidelines for fruits and vegetables. Methods. Meal receipts and dietary intake were recorded weekly. Anthropometrics and clinical assessments were recorded before intervention. Researchers rated compliance based on the participant’s dietary food log, receipt matching, food pictures, and reports during weekly 1-hour consultations. Results. Fifty-three young adults (18–30 years old) at-risk of, or diagnosed with, metabolic syndrome (MetS) were enrolled in the study, with 10 excluded (n = 43) from analyses due to enrollment in a fixed cost university campus dining meal plan. A two sample t-test assessed differences in food costs and regression analysis determined associations between food cost and diet compliance while controlling for confounding factors of age, sex, and body mass index (BMI). Diet compliant subjects (n = 38) had higher weekly food cost at $95.73 compared to noncompliant subjects (n = 5) who spent $66.24 (). A regression analysis controlling for age, sex, BMI, and geographical region also indicated cost differences based on diet compliance (). Conclusion. Results indicate an ∼$29.00 per week increase in food cost when eating the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables. These findings can contribute to research incentive design, program planning cost, and determining effective interventions to improve diet in this population.

Source Citation

Clark, R. L., Famodu, O. A., Barr, M. L., Hagedorn, R. L., Ruseski, J., White, J. A., Warner, C. M., Morrell, A. M., Murray, P. J., Olfert, I. M., McFadden, J. W., Downes, M. T., Colby, S. E., & Olfert, M. D. (2019). Monetary Cost of the MyPlate Diet in Young Adults: Higher Expenses Associated with Increased Fruit and Vegetable Consumption. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2019, 1–7.


Copyright © 2019 Rashel L. Clark et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



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