See the FAO official website for details of this year’s theme on healthy diet.
UNICEF The State of the World’s Children 2019: Children, food and nutrition They refer to children in the UK as being in a swamp of obesity.
OECD has recently published a report The Heavy Burden of Obesity The Economics of Prevention
Using microsimulation modelling, this book analyses the burden of obesity in 52 countries (including OECD, European Union and G20 countries), showing how being overweight reduces life expectancy, increases healthcare costs, decreases workers’ productivity and lowers GDP.
Do people eat junk food because it is cheaper? On this topic:
- A systematic review of literature published in 2013: Do healthier foods and diet patterns cost more than less healthy options? A systematic review and meta-analysis of 27 studies from 10 countries provides some evidence especially in terms of meat that healthier options were more expensive.
- Longitudinal study in UK (The Growing Price Gap between More and Less Healthy Foods: Analysis of a Novel Longitudinal UK Dataset: N. R. V.. Jones, Annalijn I. Conklin, M. Suhrcke,
- P. Monsivais) found prices of healthy foods rose quicker than unhealthy food across 94 items
- In 2017 the CEDAR research centre found that cost of meeting the recommended dietary intake for fruit and vegetables, oily fish, sugars, fat, saturated fat and salt was between 3% and 17% more expensive than other alternatives
However there have been some disputes about metrics used to calculate costs . This IEA discussion paper from 2017 found the margins were small. But as others have discussed factors such as time and access to healthy food outlets can also be key.
A government report Obesity and the environment found a link between the number of fast food outlets, child obesity and socio-economic background. Poorer people were likely to live near more fast-food shops and to be overweight. It has an interesting map from 2016 showing the geographical spread of fast food outlets.