Eating healthy not only benefits your health but also your bank account as well, as highlighted in a recent article published by the American Heart Association.
The article discusses a study that was published a while back in the PLOS Medicine. The study was led by Dr. Thomas Gaziano, associate professor of Harvard Medical School and cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. The aim of the study was to figure out effects of 10 dietary factors on people’s budget.
Poor diet can contribute to poor health, and in turn, higher health care costs. Proper nutrition for everyone could help save millions says Dr. Thomas Graziano of @harvardmed.https://t.co/4yh51K9E9a pic.twitter.com/9Lw5LfS1w8
— The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts (@FoodBankWMA) December 26, 2019
The dietary factors included intake of fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and meat. The result of the study showed that the yearly cost of cardiometabolic diseases due to intake of a poor diet is 300 dollars per person. Poor diet leads to 18% of all heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes costs in the USA.
People try to buy cheap and low-quality food and think they are saving their money but it is the complete opposite of what they assume. It further leads to more expenses in the future when a person suffers from a lethal disease.
Many guidelines have been published to accommodate and help people in choosing the right options. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a federal government published set of guidelines for healthy diet, a healthy eating plan includes consumption of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean meat and low saturated foods.
Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston, explains that people struggling with money go for cheap sodium-rich noodles instead of expensive fresh products. Selecting healthy options in the store can cost an average of around 2 dollars per person every day which can be difficult for people who are facing a financial crisis.
Cheap food costs more but the cost of cooking and planning healthy food is definitely problematic. A lot of work is needed to make healthy food cheap so that people can get attracted to it.
Those who have less time or energy to cook, the shop and the assembling method can work well for them. Assembling is easier. Buy greens, tomatoes, walnuts, feta cheese, and olive oil and one can put dinner together quickly.
A study published in 2018 found that the cost of care for people with diabetes accounts for about 1 in 4 health care dollars spent in the U.S. Care for a person with diabetes costs an average of $16,752 each year.
The researchers not only studied the financial cost of illness but also how much healthier eating can save. A study conducted in 2019 found that if people follow a healthy diet, then savings could reach 88 billion dollars.
Lead researcher Thomas Gaziano says:
When you don’t eat healthily, there are immediate health consequences. On the economic side of things, people end up having to spend more on health care. 40 to 45% of cardiovascular disease could be fixed with a good diet. When there are more health problems, individuals have more doctor visits and copays, and insurance rates will go up. Buy less soda and less processed meat, and put that money toward fruits and vegetables.