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Not as bad as you think: a comparison of the nutrient content of best price and brand name food products in Switzerland

Not as bad as you think: a comparison of the nutrient content of best price and brand name food products in Switzerland

Preventive Medicine Reports 3: 222-228

Several studies have shown that low-cost foods have an equivalent nutrient composition compared to high-cost foods, but such information is lacking in Switzerland. Thus, we compared the caloric and nutrient content of "best price" (BPF) and brand name foods (BNF) in Switzerland using the version 5.0 (April 2015) of the Swiss Food and Nutrient composition database. Over 4000 processed food items were included and 26 food categories were compared regarding total energy, protein, fat and carbohydrates, saturated fatty acids, sugar, fiber and sodium. BPF, namely core food categories like Bread, Red meat, White meat and Fish products, were 42%, 39%, 42% and 46% less expensive than their BNF equivalents, respectively. No differences were found between BPF and BNF regarding total energy and protein, fat and carbohydrates for most food categories. In the Cheese category, BPF had a lower caloric content than BNF [Median (interquartile range, IQR): 307 (249-355) vs. 365 (308-395) kcal/100 g, respectively, p < 0.001]; BPF also had lower fat and saturated fatty acid content but higher carbohydrate content than BNF (both p < 0.01). In the Creams and puddings group, BPF had lower fat 1.3 (0.9-1.7) vs. 6.0 (3.5-11.0) g/100 g and saturated fatty acid 0.6 (0.6-0.8) vs. 2.9 (2.3-6.0) g/100 g content than BNF (both p < 0.005). In the Tinned fruits and vegetables group, BPF had lower sodium content than BNF: 175 (0-330) vs. 370 (150-600) mg/100 g, p = 0.006. BPF might be a reasonable and eventually healthier alternative of BNF for economically deprived people in Switzerland.

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Accession: 058427679

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 27419018

DOI: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2016.02.001

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