September 9, 2010

The Produce Problem

A study, Is Price a Barrier to Eating More Fruits and Vegetables for Low-Income Families? by the American Dietetic Association sheds some light on this issue of Eating in 3D. Some of the interesting facts gleaned from this study:

• The dietary guidelines recommend 8.5-9 servings of fruits and veggies a day (Note: this is higher than the 4.5 minimum that I’m tracking.)

• People with higher incomes are more likely to meet these dietary recommendations

• On average, low-income families would have to devote 43-70% of their food budget to meet the fruit and veggie dietary guidelines.

• People who make less than $25,000 a year eat only about 5 servings a day

• Low-income neighborhoods often have higher food prices since these neighborhoods often have fewer and smaller supermarkets, which charge more

• Studies show that it costs about 17-19% more to eat healthier choices (e.g., whole-wheat instead of white bread, nonfat dairy, etc.).

Looking at these facts, it's easy to see why good nutrition isn't economically practical for many families.

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