Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

2001 Edition
| Editors: Saul I. Gass, Carl M. Harris

Stigler's diet problem

  • Saul I. Gass
  • Carl M. Harris
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-0611-X_1001

A problem formulated by the economist George Stigler in the early 1940s which had as its goal the determination of a minimum cost diet for an adult that met, for a full year, the recommended daily allowances of nutrients and calories, using 77 foods and 1939 prices. It was one of the first problems solved by the simplex method. Stigler's nonoptimal solution cost $39.93, with a diet consisting of wheat flour, evaporated milk, cabbage, spinach, and dried navy beans. The optimal, linear-programming solution cost $39.69 and included wheat flour, cabbage, spinach, beef liver, and dried navy beans.  Diet problem;  Linear programming; Simplex method.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saul I. Gass
    • 1
  • Carl M. Harris
    • 2
  1. 1.Robert H. Smith School of BusinessUniversity of MarylandCollege PartUSA
  2. 2.School of Information Technology & EngineeringGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA