Eating healthy is the best way to stay fit, but it’s more expensive to eat right. A new Harvard study put a dollar figure on the price of healthy eating.
Eating healthy costs $1.50 a day more
Experts have long said that the cost of eating healthy keeps those with less income from making healthy choices at the grocery store, but it’s never been proven – until now.
“Conventional wisdom has been that healthier foods cost more, but it’s never been clear if that’s actually true or exactly how much more healthier foods might cost,” lead study author Mayuree Rao tells CNN. “We found that the healthiest diets cost about $1.50 more per day, and that’s less than we might have expected.”
While a $1.50 extra a day may not seem like a big deal, it is to some families, the author says.
“For many low-income families, that means quite a lot,” Rao said. “It translates to about $550 more per year for one person, and that could be a real barrier to healthy eating.”
It all depends on what kind of food you buy. Meats, for example, are about 29 cents more per serving than other options. Snacks, grains an diary, on the other hand, are more affordable, the study says.
An investment in health
While the additional cost to eat healthy may deter some from making the right choices, Rao asks people to think of the added cost as a long-term savings plan.
“It’s just a drop in the bucket when you consider the billions of dollars spent every year on diet-related chronic disease like obesity, diabetes and heart disease,” Rao said. “When you look at the long-term health impact, the extra $1.50 is a good investment.”