By Habib Wicks, PEERtrainer Co-Founder
Each week it seems we are shown new research that a) confuses people and b) seems to be designed to simply get attention. And it does get attention. Today we are subjected to the latest headline:
August 4th: Study: Healthy eating is privilege of the rich
The author of the study is assistant professor Pablo Monsivais at University Of Washington School of Public Health. Predictably the conclusion of his work, or at least the conclusion of the reporter who presented his work is this:
"The government should provide help for meeting the nutritional guidelines in an affordable way."
The problem with this conclusion is that highly nutritious food is already highly affordable. I emailed my good friend Jerry Deutsch, who runs the Nutritional Research Project- which supports research to "discover the true relationship between food and health."
I shared the link to the new study with him, and asked him for his thoughts. He shared with me a set of statistics, which I think will speak for themselves:
- The average price per serving across all produce was $0.28 for fruits and $0.21 for vegetables in the total U.S. for the year.
- Nationally, the average retail price for nine servings of fruits and vegetables (four servings of fruits and five servings of vegetables) was $2.18.
- Average retail prices for nine servings varied throughout the seasons, ranging from $2.08 in the fall of 2009 to $2.31 in the spring of 2010 for the total U.S.
- Vegetables’ average retail price comprised 48% of the average retail price of the nine servings, and ranged from $0.20 to $0.23 per serving throughout the year. Fruits ranged from $0.27 to $0.29 per serving.
- The East region showed the lowest average price for nine servings for the year, with $2.08, while the South was the highest at $2.30.
Least Expensive Servings
- In the total U.S., watermelon, bananas, apples, pears, pineapple and peaches were options at less than the average of $0.28 per serving.
- Nationally, potatoes, lettuce/salad, eggplant, prepared cooking greens, summer squash, carrots and tomatillos were less than the average ($0.21 per serving) for vegetables.
Value Shopper/Store-Level Scenarios
- Opting for the least expensive choices available to a value shopper in a single store drops the average retail price of nine servings to $0.88, a discount of 60% from the national average of $2.18.
- Over the four regions, value shoppers can save between 54% and 62% off their regions’ average price of nine servings of fruits and vegetables.
- Six of the top 10 most common fruits appeared in store-level baskets in each quarter—apples, bananas, watermelon, oranges, pineapple and honeydew.
- Nine of the top 10 most common vegetables appeared in store-level baskets in each quarter—lettuce/salad, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, summer squash, onions, eggplant, root vegetables and greens.
My Concluding Question:
Given these statistics do you think that our efforts to promote healthy eating should focus on price- or would our efforts be better spent focusing on teaching people the power of nutritionally powerful foods?
One thing I have seen over the years at PEERtrainer is that most people simply have no idea how powerful certain foods are for weight loss and overall health. When they do start to "get" this concept, their thinking changes on the spot because it is so easy to start to add these foods in.
Price often has nothing to do with it. This is why the work that Jerry is doing is so important. As the link between health and good food is proven, it will be promoted more. For those of us who have gotten this over the years this is common sense because we see and experience this first hand. But there are many many more, who when you explain this link, they will simply roll their eyes.
PEERtrainer Cheat System (Helps You Start On The Path To A Healthier Diet)
PEERtrainer Mastermind Program (Keeps You On Track and Supported Each Week)
PEERtrainer Point of No Return (Master Your Mind, Get Over The "Big Hump")