Delivering Healthy Diets to Low-Income Families through Community Kitchens in Peru

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are a major cause of death in Peru, accounting for 60% of deaths in 2010. Unhealthy diet is one of the four major risk factors for NCDs.

Researchers will explore ways to promote healthy dietary habits among residents of Lima's poor urban communities who use the city's Comedores Populares, or community kitchens. These kitchens provide more than 500,000 lunches to Peruvian families living in poverty.

Established in 1978 to respond to poverty and the economic crisis, there are more than 15,500 Comedores Populares in Peru today, with 5,000 located in Lima. Low-income women serve soup plus a dish made of rice and legumes at a cost of CA$0.75 each. The menus rarely include fruits and vegetables.

This project will combine qualitative methodologies and tools common to public health research, health economics, and behavioral economics to explore opportunities, barriers, and preferences for healthy foods. Researchers will use the information to design and implement strategies to promote healthier food choices in the Comedores Populares. One approach will increase the use of fruits and the other will reduce the use of products with high saturated fat and salt in prepared foods.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Monday, February 20, 2012

End Date

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


24 months

IDRC Officer

Hallen, Greg

Total funding

CA$ 302,700


Peru, South America, North and Central America


Food, Environment, and Health

Project Leader

Jaime Miranda Montero


Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia

Institution Country


Institution Website