The gap between haves and have nots becomes ever more obvious when the have nots can only afford to eat processed junk that doesn’t deserve the moniker “food.” CBC reports on a study demonstrating the disturbing correlation between healthy eating and high income:
A family on a healthy diet can expect to pay $2,000 more a year for food than one having less nutritious meals, say researchers who recommend that the cost gap be closed.
The research in Thursday’s issue of British Medical Journal Open reviewed 27 studies from 10 high-income countries to evaluate the price differences of foods and diet patterns.
“Our results indicate that lowering the price of healthier diet patterns — on average about $1.50/day more expensive — should be a goal of public health and policy efforts, and some studies suggest that this intervention can indeed reduce consumption of unhealthy foods,” Dariush Mozaffarian, the study’s senior author and a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and his co-authors concluded.
Eating a healthier diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts would increase food costs for one person by about $550 a year, the researchers said. Diets rich in processed foods, meats and refined grains were considered unhealthy.
Among food groups, meats and protein showed the highest price difference and cost about 29 cents more per serving.
Previously, Mozaffarian’s team suggested taxing less healthy foods together with subsidies for healthier foods would balance price differences.
“That’s a real price difference, $1.50 for a low-income family could be an important barrier,” Mozaffarian said in an interview. “On the other hand, that’s a cup of coffee, that’s a trivial cost compared to the enormous burdens of heart disease, obesity, diabetes that are due to poor diet.”
The $1.50 per day is hugely significant for anyone working with budget constraints…
[continues at CBC]