Software tools for calculating the Cost of a Healthy Diet

Our technical assistance tools are now available in beta mode, for early adopters to test and provide feedback. The toolkit provides templates for calculating diet costs from the typical food price datasets collected by national statistical organizations and market information services. Components of the toolkit are designed to be readily customized for integration into your own organization or project’s data analysis protocols, to automate the selection of least-cost items in each food group needed to calculate the Cost of a Healthy Diet.

For other aspects of our work, please scroll down to see replication files with code & data for previously published studies, with the code and data to reproduce those results.


This beta release is version 3.0 of our toolkit to compute least-cost diets from local price observations, designed for early adopters to test, use and modify with their own price data. We appreciate your feedback!

What’s inside?
The beta version of our technical assistance toolkit is packaged as a single large downloadable folder (>200mb) with the components listed below.


Recommended citation:
Food Prices for Nutrition (2022). Technical Assistance Toolkit for Calculating the Cost of a Healthy Diet (Beta v. 3.0, published 14 July 2022). Tufts University, Boston (USA). Available at: https://sites.tufts.edu/foodpricesfornutrition.

Screenshot of toolkit contents

Data & code to replicate published studies

Replication code & data for specific research papers

Replication folder for Schneider et al. (2022), Assessing the affordability of nutrient-adequate diets, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, e12334 [preprint].

Replication folder for Bai et al. (2022), Retail prices of nutritious food rose more in countries with higher COVID-19 case countsNature Food 3: 325–330.

Replication folder for Bai et al. (2021), Retail consumer price data reveal gaps and opportunities to monitor food systems for nutrition. Food Policy 104: e102148.

Replication folder for Bai et al. (2021), Cost and affordability of nutritious diets at retail prices: Evidence from 177 countries. Food Policy 99: e101983.

Replication folder for Schneider, K. R. (2020), Household Consumption, Individual Requirements, and the Affordability of Nutrient-Adequate Diets – An Application to Malawi. Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

Replication folder for Masters et al. (2018), Measuring the affordability of nutritious diets in Africa: Price indexes for diet diversity and the cost of nutrient adequacy.  American J. of Agricultural Economics 100(5, October): 1285-1301.

Generic code and data for calculating least-cost nutrient adequate diets

Code and pseudodata for the calculation of the Cost of Nutrient Adequacy (CoNA), by Yan Bai (2021)

— Schneider, K. & Herforth, A. (2020). Software tools for practical application of human nutrient requirements in food-based social science research. Gates Open Research 4:179.

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