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The "Eatwell Plate" is a broad dietary recommendation produced by the UK National Health Service.

This article in The Guardian says that a diet based on the Eatwell plate could cost as little as £16.70 per person per week:

The government, after all, has devised a strategy called the Eatwell Plate, which shows how a healthy, well-balanced diet, rich in fruit and veg, can be achieved for £16.70 per stomach per week.

I haven't found any source which shows how that cost is calculated, for example via Google search.

I'm surprised (skeptical) to be told that a healthy diet of groceries can cost so little.

The "£16.70" is mentioned in another government publication (Food Statistics Pocketbook 2012), but again there I don't see how they derive that figure.

Total spend per person/week on foods within the Eatwell categories is £16.49. Based on actual spend, an overall shift to an Eatwell balanced diet would not cost low income households significantly more, at £16.70.

Ideally I'd like to know how they arrive at that figure: precisely which foodstuffs are being bought, how much of each, and what cost.

  • We had that exact same pie chart at school years and years ago, all they've done is put a knife and fork next to it and rebrand it. O.T - would looking at supermarket websites and working out our own meals and associated costs count as a sufficient answer to this question, or does the answer need to be the source that the official figure uses? – Ian Dec 7 '12 at 9:40
  • @Ian There's a recent topic on meta about that. If you can find the official calculations, the advantages would be that it would tell me how the officials expect people to live, and, the diet they use might (I hope) be better peer-reviewed for nutrition and balance. Still I personally would also be interested in the results of any personal research if you have it: I'm hoping above all for a practical answer; for example I heard two cost-conscious people agree with each other fruit is too expensive for them. £16.70 is USD $26.81 or less than – ChrisW Dec 7 '12 at 9:56
  • ... $4/day. Any practical/practicable answer could be a useful life-skill (I never had a "home economics" class at school). – ChrisW Dec 7 '12 at 9:58
  • Conversely, in terms of the mass media and government policy, if people are being told, "oh stop worrying about health, and money: you can eat perfectly well on $4/day", I'd like to know what diet (what foodstuffs in what quantities, how much preparation, what buying habits) that actually means in practice (which I could deduce if I could see at least the shopping list). – ChrisW Dec 7 '12 at 10:06
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    I found this pdf with price ranges for various foods in each of the Eatwell categories. Looks difficult, but certainly possible - tinyurl.com/cgt7q5u – Tom77 Dec 7 '12 at 11:23

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