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A Healthy Diet Does Cost More, But Is Offset By Much Lower Healthcare Costs

December 15, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Harvard scientists have figured out that it really is more expensive to eat healthy, but not that much more – only $1.50 a day, or $550 a year. In a meta-analysis of 27 studies across 10 affluent countries that compared the costs of eating healthy versus less-healthy meals, the researchers found that healthier diet patterns – for example, diets rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts – cost significantly more than unhealthy diets (i.e., those rich in processed foods, meats, and refined grains). The researchers said the price difference is very small in comparison to the economic costs of diet-related chronic diseases, “which would be dramatically reduced by healthy diets”.
Mayuree Rao et al., "Do Healthier Foods and Diet Patterns Cost More Than Less Healthy Options? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis", BMJ Open, December 15, 2013, © Rao et al.
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