Overcoming budget, availability, and attention constraints to healthy diets in Tanzania
Tanzania is one of the many countries with a rapid increase in overweight and obesity status and associated non-communicable diseases (NCDs). This has been linked to the rise in the availability of affordable, calorie-rich foods with little nutritional benefit. To catalyze a shift toward healthy and sustainable food systems, increasing the supply of healthy food items must also be matched by a better understanding of the attributes, beyond price, that affect the demand for healthier products.
The project team plans to study the food environment in Dar es Salaam to determine what types of unhealthy products are being consumed, identify substitutes, and then study how consumer choices are affected by different characteristics, including price. The research team will use this to better understand gendered difference in food purchasing and how to strengthen the drivers of healthy food purchasing habits in low-income and vulnerable populations.
The research team intends to analyze and test interventions for improving how urban Tanzanians can access, afford, and choose healthy foods, using a mix of experimental research methods such as discrete choice experiments and randomized control trials. The objective is to use insights to inform policy for improving the demand for and affordability of healthy diets, supporting gender-sensitive approaches.
This project is funded through the Catalyzing Change for Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems (CCHeFS) Initiative, a co-funding partnership between IDRC and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Overcoming budget, availability and attention
This report presents progress for the 4th block of six months (October 2022 to April 2023) for IDRC funded project at ESRF on healthy diets. This study is being implemented as part of IDRC’s investment in increasing market competitiveness of healthy diets in East Africa region. The study aims at testing interventions on the impacts of increasing availability, affordability, and nudging food consumers on the consumption of healthy foods. The study therefore has three major components namely (a) scoping study on situation of food environment and its role in influencing dietary choices (b) Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE) and (c) Randomized Control Trial to test the impact of food subsidies of the consumption of health diets. To a large extent, the report presents updates in relation to the execution of planned activities for the period. These activities are (1) further analysis of data collected from earlier research phases, (2) preparation of research design for RCT, (3) preparation of framework for costing exercise for RCT and (4) dissemination of research findings from earlier phases of the study.
Author(s): Sango, Danford, Manda, Constantine