Yes We Can: Eating Healthy on a Limited Budget

AIC Research Economics Karen Jetter published a new article, “Yes We Can: Eating Healthy on a Limited Budget” in the March 2019 Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Journal Article
Karen M. Jetter, Jennymae Adkins, Susie Cortez, Gesford Kane Hopper Jr, Vicki Shively, and Dennis M. Styne. 2019. Yes We Can: Eating Healthy on a Limited Budget. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 51 (3): 268-276

Objective: This study determined how people who live in low-income households can consume an affordable, nutritious diet.
Design: A community-based participatory research (CBPR) project was completed that developed and priced 2 weeks of healthy menus that met US Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Prices were collected from a market basket survey of 13 stores in the city of Chico during October, 2010. Initial menu development began in 2011−2012. Menus were reviewed in 2017 and reflect current guidelines.
Setting: Chico, CA.
Main Outcome Measures: Macro dietary objectives including the caloric content and servings of fat, sugar, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables. The cost of purchasing the market basket of goods for a family of 4 that achieved those objectives was determined.
Results: The 2 weeks of menus all met dietary objectives on average. The daily cost varied from $19 to $31 when food was purchased from a bulk supermarket, with an average daily cost of $25. Average monthly cost was $756 in 2010 dollars, or $838 in 2015 dollars.
Conclusions and Implications: People living in low-income households can afford to eat healthily. Using CBPR principles, daily targets, and technical support, public health partners can partner with community members for member-defined solutions that are affordable and meet dietary guidelines. Access to stores that sell low-price bulk items is important to being able to afford a healthy diet.

Dr. Kjersti Nes becomes a Post-doctoral fellow at AIC

Kjersti recently obtained her Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Davis. Prior to attending the doctoral program at UC Davis, she obtained a master’s degree in Agricultural and Resource Economics and a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Mathematics from Truman State University in Missouri. Her research focuses on food safety and agricultural trade, and her dissertation examined the effect of EU food laws on agricultural trade. In addition to her dissertation, she has several ongoing projects relating to the empirical analysis of policy issues within agricultural economics. Currently, she is examining the use of public standards as a tool for retaliation in the global supply chain and the trade effects of the EU horsemeat scandal (see nearby announcement of her new publication) on this issue.

Dr. Nes worked with Dr. Karen Jetter as a Graduate Student Researcher at the Agricultural Issues Center during the completion of her Ph.D. program, At AIC Kjersti works on projects pertaining to cost-and-benefit analysis of invasive species management. These projects include economic modeling that simulates the costs and benefits of managing water hyacinth in the San Joaquin Delta and economic modeling of the cost-effectiveness of various treatments of HLB disease in urban areas in California.

The Cost to Manage Invasive Aquatic Weeds in the California Bay-Delta

Karen M. Jetter and Kjersti Nes

from ARE Update Vol. 21, No. 3, Jan/Feb, 2018View Full Article PDF 


Invasive aquatic weeds have become an increasing problem in the California Bay-Delta, with Brazilian waterweed and water hyacinth being particular problems. In 2014 and 2015, large mats of water hyacinth began to choke Delta waterways, increasing control costs of a variety of public agencies and marinas. Between 2013 and 2016, these groups spent about $46 million to manage all invasive aquatic weeds.


Does 7 to 9 a day pay? The Economic Benefits to Fruit and Vegetable Industries Should People Consume the USDA Recommendations

This article estimates the economic impact on fruit and vegetable industries in the U.S. from an increase in consumption to levels recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005. This study represents the first attempt to quantify the effect on growers who could expect to gain from such an increase.

See PDF article here: Does 7 to 9 a day pay? The Economic Benefits to Fruit and Vegetable Industries Should People Consume the USDA Recommendations by Karen M. Jetter, James A. Chalfant, and Daniel A. Sumner.

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