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Introduction. The authors of the article substantiate that at the present stage of society development the issues of nutrition, which determine the trends of sustainable development in the context of poverty alleviation, are relevant and deserve special observation and research.

purpose. The article is devoted to the formation of modern approaches to the definition of the cost of a safe diet in the context of national economic interests. To achieve the goal, the systematic approach, methods of logical generalization, systematization, adaptation, dialectical method, analysis and synthesis, economic and mathematical method were used.

Results. The result of the study was the substantiation of the need to assess the cost of a balanced diet, which is based not on amounts of food products, but on nutrients. The advantage of this approach to a healthy diet based on nutrients is that the consumer can be directed to choose more nutritious but cheaper products. It is proposed to create a model of optimal provision of the population with basic types of food products, using a mathematical model of optimization, consisting in minimizing the target function - the cost of the "food basket".

Originality. The scientific novelty of the research consists in creating an approach to determining the economic component of nutrition. This method made it possible to substantiate the optimal composition of a safe food basket under the condition of minimizing its cost. The practical significance of the study is determined by the possibility of substantiating the priorities of socio-economic policy of the state and the formation of consumer preferences from the position of economy and health.

Conclusion. The authors argue that the possibility of applying the proposed approach can improve the health of the population. This determines the future economic benefits by reducing morbidity and increasing the productive (working-age) period of human life. The prospective directions of further research are the analysis of food production (functional foods) from the position of nutritional security and transition to the optimal model of consumption by optimizing the food basket to level food poverty.

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