Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Agricultural Economics (MS)

Degree Level



Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness


Michael R. Thomsen

Committee Member

Di Fang

Second Committee Member

Christine Yung Hung


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food Security, Gluten-Free, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)


Over the past two decades, the diagnoses of gluten allergies and celiac disease has increased significantly. Although there has been no development of a cure for either ailment, these conditions can be managed by the elimination of glutenous foods from a person’s diet. In previous studies, the financial cost of replacing or excluding glutenous foods was higher than the financial cost of diets that do not exclude gluten. The objective of this study is to examine the differences in the economic feasibility of a conventional diet in comparison to a gluten-free diet. Using a sample of foods and prices from the Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies (FNDDS), the differences in price were examined. This study builds on the methodology used for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Thrifty Food Plan (TFP). Of all food plans, the Thrifty Food Plan represents the lowest-cost way to meet minimum nutritional recommendations for vitamins and nutrients. The models require that the nutritional recommendations from the Thrifty Food Plan and Dietary Guidelines for Americans have been satisfied.