Making Healthy Eating Affordable

You've been eating whole foods for years. As much as you talk about the benefits, friends and family haven't exactly jumped on the bandwagon, have they? A new study tackled this issue by suggesting that reducing the cost of healthy food choices is a far more effective approach than education. The findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The study analyzed the impact of discounted prices and nutrition education on the amount of saturated fat purchased by a group of 1,104 mostly female consumers from New Zealand. The overall quality of foods purchased by subjects who were randomly chosen to receive a 12.5% grocery store discount was significant 'cleaner' after 6 months. They bought about 10% more healthy items than before the study, and this net effect was sustained even after the discounts expired. By comparison, the nutrition education program had no real effect on consumer shopping habits.

The Bigger Picture: It's unfortunate that knowing the benefits of eating healthy didn't have any impact on this study group. The good news is that once regular everyday people tried eating healthy whole foods, they enjoyed the experience enough to continue eating them even without discount incentives. Coincidentally, those first few months of going to the gym have a similar impact on reformed couch potatoes.
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