A recent study discovered how lower prices could save us. If healthy foods, such as nuts, fruits, and vegetables cost less, we would be able to save several thousands of lives every year. This adds up to the beneficial effect of higher taxes on junk food and high-fat meat. If unhealthy foods cost more and healthy foods cost less, people are more likely to make the best dietary choices.
Making healthy foods cheaper can convince people to take better care of themselves
The study discovered that changing the prices of seven dietary items, both unhealthy and healthy foods, would reduce mortality rates all over the country. These foods include fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, sweetened beverages, and both processed and unprocessed meats. A change of only 10 percent in their price, either up or down, would cut around 23,000 deaths every year.
However, changing the prices even more would lead to an even better outcome. If healthy foods were to cost 30 percent less, and unhealthy foods 30 percent more, then 63,000 deaths would be prevented. Also, around 9.2 percent of all these prevented deaths would be related to cardiovascular and metabolic causes.
These price changes can really reduce mortality rates
Even if it doesn’t sound like a major change, people would definitely be motivated to change their diet if healthy foods were cheaper. Jose L. Penalvo, one of the researchers, explained which changes would have the biggest impact on the incidence of diseases.
“The largest changes were viewed after reducing the prices of fruits and vegetables and increasing the price of sugary drinks.”
Lower consumption of sweetened beverages could decrease the number of deaths associated with diabetes. On the other hand, consuming more fruits and vegetables could reduce the number of deadly strokes. Therefore, the financial part is really convincing when it comes to making people eat healthy foods.