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PPPs for policy making: a visual guide to using data from the ICP - Chapter 5: Food and nutrition

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Food prices, consumption shares, and expenditure data from the ICP can inform studies on how income and prices influence dietary patterns, the prevalence of undernutrition and overnutrition or obesity, and the gap in healthy and nutritious diets between rich and poor. Policy makers can use these data to examine how these costs vary with economic development and structural factors including sectoral composition, urbanization, rural infrastructure, and access to international trade.

Food security and nutrition

Food prices collected by the ICP have been used to inform the least costs of different food groups (figure 5.1), of nutrient-dense foods, and of energy-adequate, nutrient-adequate, and healthy diets across the globe, and the burden of these costs on the global poor.                     


ICP food prices can be used to establish the most affordable cost of the EAT-Lancet diet as recommended by the EAT-Lancet Commission. When expressed in PPP terms, these costs can be compared with metrics such as the PPP-based international poverty lines and PPP-based household income data to establish affordability. Figure 5.2 plots the cost of the diet in each country relative to the mean daily household per capita income, grouped by World Bank income group. Other studies have compared the cost of a caloric-adequate diet, meeting energy needs, against a nutrient adequate diet and figure 5.3 plots the average daily cost of each in PPP$ by region.

ICP food price data have also been used to establish a relative caloric price of a given food in different countries and to illustrate how the price of nutrient-dense foods differs from nutrient-sparse staple foods across countries (map 5.1).