The impact of optimized diet patterns at a macro-level: the case of Tunisia

In the last 40 years Tunisia has experienced – as many other developing and emerging countries – a dietary transition, which led to an increase in the consumption of sugar, fats and animal products. This transition was accompanied by an increase in non-communicable diseases and particularly in cardio-vascular diseases. Using the framework developed by Srinivasan (2007) we optimized the Tunisian food intake using the French dietary recommendations (ANC) as constraints. We reproduced and enriched the work by including micronutrients in the analysis. Moreover we added a constraint on olive oil (a traditional culinary product in Tunisia), which consumption has also declined steadily over the period. Using this static model, we showed that the main needs in macro- and micronutrients are already covered by the food supply in Tunisia. However, the energy intake equivalent to 3329 Kcal per capita and per day, represented an average excess of 1000 Kcal for an adult. The adherence to all the dietary nutritional recommendations would induce an imperative shift to a less consumption of sugar and cereal-based products. Moreover, optimizing sustainable diets induced the reduction of the imports of cereals, sugar, and plant oils other than olive oil that is recognized to protect against cardiovascular diseases.

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JEL Codes:
C61; I18

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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