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Are Healthy Foods REALLY More Expensive?

It’s mind-blowing to think about the multitude of animals that exist in this world.


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A new study finds that healthy foods are three times more expensive than unhealthy foods. You know what, screw this, I’m going to McDonalds. I dunno about you guys, but one of the excuses people always love to give for eating like crap is that it’s more expensive to eat healthy than it is to eat unhealthily. And naturally, I assumed it was just that – an excuse. But apparently, it’s actually true – and according to a new study out of the UK, healthy food is three times more expensive per calories, than less healthy foods. 

Who knew? This was a study, that tracked the prices of 94 key food and beverage items from 2002 to 2012. Now to clarify, these are foods you would find at any supermarket – so we’re not talking about McDonald’s or Taco Bell, which are definitely more expensive. 

Researchers then matched the prices of those foods, with their caloric content – and classified them as either healthy or unhealthy, based on their nutritional value. What they found, is that not only have the prices of food risen in India faster than the price of other goods, healthy foods specifically have experienced a much sharper price hike in recent years: about Rs.463 for every thousand calories, compared to unhealthy foods which have only risen Rs. 16 in the same amount of time. 

So each year, healthy foods are getting progressively more expensive. And studies from other high-income nations have found similar results. Obviously, for countries with obesity epidemics, like the US and especially the UK, where obesity is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths, it’s important that people realize the effects of eating unhealthily. 

According to the National Health Service, diet-related health problems cost an estimated 9 trillion dollars every year. But for households that are straddling the poverty line, it can be difficult to convince people that spending more money now on eating healthy, will actually pay off in the long run. So the researchers in this study, are calling on public health officials to address the rising prices of healthy foods, in hopes that they’ll regulate them – and provide subsidies to those in need – for the good of the nation’s health. What do you guys think? Especially those of you on a tight budget – does the price of food influence how healthy you eat? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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Sarita D

After a successful career in the fin-tech sector, Sarita is now back to navigating life and stories in India. Passionate about food, mental health, and other social issues.

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