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University of California
Capitol Corridor

Cost isn't the only deterrent to eating healthy

We Americans like our sweets and fats, plus they're convenient and cheap, conditions that that don't bode well for a society suffering from an obesity crisis, according to UC Cooperative Extension nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor Brenda Roche.

Roche shared these sentiments with millions of Americans on the National Public Radio program Marketplace this week. The story dealt with the higher cost of healthy calories vs. empty calories. Roche said she teaches youth in her nutrition classes that junk food costs can add up too.

"When we talk with youth and we show them when they spend about $2.50-3.50 a day on soda and snack foods after school, how much that adds up to over time -- over a year, five years, 10 years. It's just mind boggling," Roche said.

Other evidence was offered during the Marketplace piece dispelling the notion that people turn to junk food to save money. A study from the University of Buffalo found that if you reduce the cost of healthy food, shoppers use the money they save to buy more chips and cookies.

"Junk food's convenient, it tastes good. We just have a natural predisposition to like this type of food," Roche explained.

Starches, fat and sugar are significantly cheaper than lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables.
Starches, fat and sugar are significantly cheaper than lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 6:29 AM
Tags: Brenda Roche (4), nutrition (71)

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