A picture of Ripe Tomatoes

People are flipping out about a health food study and why you shouldn’t be.

A new study concluded that costs for eating healthier was, on average, greater than eating less healthy.  By healthy the study refers to lean meats vs. fattier meats and other items along that line. When conducting the research, they resolved that this must be because of the increased cost of processing healthier foods from the manufacturers perspective.  The results showed that

“healthier options cost $0.29/serving (95% CI $0.19 to $0.40) and $0.47/200 kcal ($0.42 to $0.53) more than less healthy options.”

Here’s a link to the study: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/3/12/e004277.full

The majority of consumers can agree with this especially if you’re a regular shopper of organic foods at places like Trader Joes, Whole Foods, or whatever your higher-end food store is.  Prices definitely have been raised and you can expect to walk out with $15-20 more dollars on your receipt than had you walked out of Wal-Mart.  However, this study is negligent of short term vs. long term effects of food on the body.

While I’m definitely in the majority of people who agree that eating healthier does cost a pretty penny, we’re disregarding the biggest factor for eating healthy in the first place; It costs less down the road.  I’m sure everyone has heard this before so I’ll spare everyone the details of health care, obesity rates, and the inflated costs for those that make bad choices.

Because I’m assuming that my readers can understand this first contention, let’s move onto another big factor which diminishes the main point of the study. I’ll use a great example from reddit to illustrate my point:

“If you have a tub of lard, that is cheap and unhealthy. If you have a banana, that is more expensive per calorie.

What you also have to account for his how filling something is, and that nutrition is also not a race to eat the most calories. It’s about eating the right amount of the right kinds of calories.

So if you were to choose between eating lard for dinner, or eating a banana, in the end you would eat much less banana calories than lard calories because banana is more filling. You would also get better nutrients from the banana.”

Provided by user Holbac: http://www.reddit.com/user/Holbac

In the end it’s all about how satiated the person is.  How full do you feel when you drink a non-diet soda (170 calories) vs. eating a massive bowl of vegetables.  85 grams of mixed vegetables is usually 4 carbs (16 calories) so you would have to eat 10 FULL SERVINGS of those vegetables to get the same amount of calories as soda.  I don’t know what kind of bags you buy, but even the frozen ones at the store have 2-3 servings in them….meaning you would have to eat roughly 5 freaking bags of vegetables to match a soda. Granted this comparison doesn’t follow the exact logic of the study, which compares similar food sources and their cost, but it touches on the reason why this is such a viral story.

So let’s think before we start flipping out and trying to justify eating bad by saying that it costs too much.

“No. Eating bananas is too expensive. My obesity comes a result of how poor I am, not my lack of self control.”

Thanks Dargz: www.reddit.com/user/dargz





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