According to a recent study, healthy eating comes at a price which many simply cannot afford. In other words, one should be prepared to loosen their budget if you would like to follow a healthy diet.
A study led by Pablo Monsivais, an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and the School of Public Health at the University of Washington, and his fellow researchers found a healthy diet to be quite expensive, and this may be the reason many Americans struggle to meet U.S. nutritional guidelines.
An update to the “food pyramid” called for the incorporation of more foods with potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin D, and calcium. These dietary changes however come with a heftier price tag, and those who follow them strictly stand to add hundreds of dollars to their annual grocery bill.
Lead researcher Monsivais stated: “We know more than ever about the science of nutrition, and yet we have not yet been able to move the needle on healthful eating.” He also suggested that the government should provide consumers with the means to meet the nutritional guidelines, without spending tons of money in the process.
The study analyzed data collected through a random telephone survey from roughly 2,000 adult participants in King County, Washington. The telephone survey was followed up with a printed questionnaire, which was returned by around 1,300 respondents. The participants were asked about the food that they consumed on a daily basis, and these foods were then analyzed for nutritional content and cost.
The study revealed that those who spent the most on food were able to get the closest to meeting the federal guidelines for potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin D, and calcium.
In response to these findings, Monsivais said, “(Guidelines) should tell people where you get the most bang for your buck. By putting the economic dimension on dietary guidelines, it would be very helpful for those on the economic margins, but also for everyone … trying to save money in the current economy.”