Thursday, August 11, 2011

Eat healthy foods and low in fat is more expensive

Eat healthy foods and low in fat is more expensive.

According to a U.S. study, a diet as recommended by the Government of that country increased by 10% the budget

Washington (Reuters). Eat healthy foods , as indicated by the new guidelines of nutrition , you can add 10 percent to the food budget of Americans.

Researchers at the University of Washington looked at the economic impact of following the new guidelines food in the United States, which recommend eating more potassium , fiber, vitamin D and calcium , and avoiding saturated fats and excess sugar .

The dietary advice try to combat rising rates of obesity registered in the U.S., but the results of the study highlights some obstacles to adopt the new recommendations.

In an article published in Health Affairs , researchers reported that eating more potassium, the most expensive of the four nutrients recommended, you can add a $ 380 annual cost to the average person on food.

Americans spend about $ 4,000 on food, according to the Department of Agriculture. At the same time, consume more calories from saturated fat and sugar reduces the overall costs for food, the study said.

Pablo Monsivais, an assistant professor at the University of Washington and one of the authors of the research, said the Government should consider the economic impact of feeding guidelines.

"We know that dietary guidelines are not generating a huge difference in what we eat and our health in general," said the researcher. "And I think that remains is to note that they must be economically appropriate," he said.

"They emphasize certain foods without having in mind what are more affordable," Monsivais said. More than one third of children and two thirds of U.S. adults are obese or overweight.

Expensive diet
In the study, the authors collected questionnaires on food habits typical of 1,123 people in King County, Washington, and calculated how much it cost each diet based on retail food prices in three local supermarkets.

However, the team did not take into account the costs of buying local fast food , which may increase the cost of food per person.

The research also found that it is more expensive to consume more dietary fiber and vitamin D and that people with higher average incomes were more likely to eat healthier foods.

Monsivais said that when advised to consume more fruits and vegetables , the Government should also mention what are the cheapest options. For example, bananas and potatoes are the cheapest sources of potassium.

"Putting the economic dimension in the dietary guidelines would be useful for those most marginalized, but also for all those seeking (...) save money in today's economy," he added.

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