Meeting nutritional goals comes with hefty price tag
Public health experts trying to get people to eat healthier face a powerful foe: cost.
One of the findings in a study in August’s Health Affairs seems a bit obvious: People prefer the taste of fat and sugar-laden foods, such as French fries and cookies, to nutrient-dense whole foods, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. However, they did manage to put a price tag—an expensive one—on the cost of eating healthy.
For example, the study’s authors found that getting the government-recommended daily value of potassium into the diet of the King County, Wash., adults studied would cost a whopping $ 380 a year, assuming dietary habits don’t change.
The authors recommend nothing less than a wholesale change to the country’s food production system as a solution. “The current system has proved to be remarkably effective in the provision of calories, but not as good at supplying nutrients,” according to the study. “More fundamentally, the system currently falls short of producing enough vegetables and fruit to supply Americans with even the minimum recommended number of daily servings of these foods.”