According to a new study by the Brexel University, healthy food is brought and consumed in larger amount than junk food if it is lower in price that the latter. Salty and sugary snacks like chips and candies are preferred less if vegetables are being sold at a lower price.
Hear It From The Researchers
“We found that, on average, healthier perishable foods were nearly twice as expensive as unhealthy packaged foods: 60 cents vs. 31 cents per serving, respectively,” said Kern, lead author of the study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. “As the gap between neighborhood prices of healthier and unhealthier foods got wider, study participants had lower odds of having a healthier diet.”
“We are consuming way too many sugary foods like cookies, candies and pastries, and sugary drinks, like soda and fruit drinks,” Auchincloss, an associate professor in the school and a PhD told the publication. “Nearly 40 percent of U.S. adults are obese and less than 20 percent attain recommendations for fruits and vegetables. Cheap prices of unhealthy foods relative to healthier foods may be contributing to obesity and low-quality diet.”
The Study And Its Findings
The study conducted by the researchers showed that there was a 14 percent increase in the healthy to unhealthy price ratio and that percentage of a healthy diet fell by 24 percent. This occurred even after controlling various significant factors like age, sex, income, education and others. Healthy food has its benefits and if sold cheaper it might actually help in more of its consumption.
“Prospective studies that examine interventions effecting food prices — such as taxes on soda and junk food or subsidies for fruits and vegetables — would be vital to understand how food prices influence purchasing decisions and subsequent diet quality,” Kern concluded. “Improving diet quality in the U.S., especially for the most vulnerable populations, is a large public health concern and future research could help address this issue.”