The Cost of Eating Healthy in Kenya: Comparative Analysis of Healthy versus Unhealthy Foods
In response to the rising burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Kenya, the Ministry of Health launched the Kenya National Strategy for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2015-2020. One of the plan’s strategies is to ensure that Kenyans have access to and consume healthy diets. However, for the Kenyan people to consume healthy diets, they must be able to afford them. Studies in developed countries have shown that healthy diets tend to be more expensive than unhealthy diets. This partly explains why low-income communities in those settings tend to consume more unhealthy food and consequently have high levels of obesity and diet-related NCDs.
The study aims to estimate the relative affordability of eating healthy versus unhealthy foods in a lower-middle-income country, namely Kenya. This will be achieved by applying econometric methods to analyzing national household survey data. The anticipated results from this study will illuminate how socioeconomic inequalities influence healthy versus unhealthy food consumption, providing motivation for the formulation and implementation of policies and strategies that would adjust the relative affordability of a healthy diet in Kenya. The study will be conducted by the African Population and Health Research Center, a leading public health think tank based in Nairobi, Kenya.