Background: This study estimated the monetary cost of diets with higher and lower caloric shares of ultraprocessed food products (UPF) and unprocessed/minimally processed foods (MPF) in Belgium for various sociodemographic groups. Methods: Data from the latest nationally representative Food Consumption Survey (FCS) 2014–2015 (n
= 3146; 3–64 years) were used. Dietary data were collected through two nonconsecutive 24-hour recalls (food diaries for children). Average prices for >2000 food items (year 2014) were derived from GfK ConsumerScan panel data and linked with foods consumed in the FCS. Foods eaten were categorized by their extent of processing using the NOVA classification. The average caloric share (percentage of daily energy intake) of UPF and MPF were calculated. The mean diet cost was compared across the UPF and MPF contribution tertiles, using linear regression. Results: The average price per 100 kcal for UPF was significantly cheaper (EUR 0.55; 95%CI = 0.45–0.64) than for MPF (EUR 1.29; 95% CI = 1.27–1.31). UPF contributed between 21.9% (female adults) and 29.9% (young boys), while MPF contributed between 29.5% (male adolescents) and 42.3% (female adults) to the daily dietary cost. The contribution of MPF to the daily dietary cost was significantly higher for individuals with a higher household education level compared to those with a lower household education level (p
< 0.01). Adjusted for covariates, the average dietary cost per 2000 kcal was significantly lower for individuals in the highest compared to the lowest tertile for the proportion of daily energy consumed from UPF (EUR −0.37 ± 0.13; p
= 0.006), and significantly higher for individuals in the highest compared to the lowest tertile for proportion of daily energy consumed from MPF (EUR 1.18 ± 0.12, p
< 0.001). Conclusion: Diets with a larger caloric share of UPF were significantly cheaper than those with a lower contribution of these products, while the opposite was found for MPF. Policies that improve relative affordability and accessibility of MPF are recommended.
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