British Journal of Nutrition

  • British Journal of Nutrition / Volume 105 / Issue 01 / January 2011, pp 157-166
  • Copyright © The Authors 2010. The online version of this article is published within an Open Access environment subject to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence <>. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use.
  • DOI: (About DOI), Published online: 27 August 2010

Full Papers

Workshop Report

Nutrition economics – characterising the economic and health impact of nutrition

I. Lenoir-Wijnkoopa1 c1, M. Dapoignya2, D. Duboisa3, E. van Gansea4, I. Gutiérrez-Ibarluzeaa5a6, J. Huttona7, P. Jonesa8, T. Mittendorfa9, M. J. Poleya10, S. Salminena11 and M. J. C. Nuijtena10a12

a1 Danone Research, RD 128, 91767, Scientific Affairs, Palaiseau, France

a2 Department Gastroenterology, Hôtel-Dieu, Clermont-Ferrand, France

a3 PHARMED, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium

a4 Pharmaco-epidemiology, Claude-Bernard University, Lyon, France

a5 Osteba, Basque Office for Health Technology Assessment, Health and Consumer Affairs Department, Basque Government, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Basque Country, Spain

a6 Nursing School of the Basque Health Service, Osakidetza, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Basque Country, Spain

a7 York Health Economics Consortium, Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, UK

a8 Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, Nutrition Department, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

a9 Center for Health Economics, Leibniz University Hannover, Hannover, Germany

a10 Institute for Medical Technology Assessment, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

a11 Functional Foods Forum, University of Turku, Turku, Finland

a12 Ars Accessus Medica, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


There is a new merging of health economics and nutrition disciplines to assess the impact of diet on health and disease prevention and to characterise the health and economic aspects of specific changes in nutritional behaviour and nutrition recommendations. A rationale exists for developing the field of nutrition economics which could offer a better understanding of both nutrition, in the context of having a significant influence on health outcomes, and economics, in order to estimate the absolute and relative monetary impact of health measures. For this purpose, an expert meeting assessed questions aimed at clarifying the scope and identifying the key issues that should be taken into consideration in developing nutrition economics as a discipline that could potentially address important questions. We propose a first multidisciplinary outline for understanding the principles and particular characteristics of this emerging field. We summarise here the concepts and the observations of workshop participants and propose a basic setting for nutrition economics and health outcomes research as a novel discipline to support nutrition, health economics and health policy development in an evidence and health-benefit-based manner.

(Received June 13 2010)

(Revised June 24 2010)

(Accepted July 05 2010)

(Online publication August 27 2010)


c1 Corresponding author: I. Lenoir-Wijnkoop, email


Abbreviations: HRQoL, health-related quality of life; QALY, quality-adjusted life years; RCT, randomised controlled trial