Penny-wise, Pound-foolish

Saturday, March 12, 2011 • Chicago, IL 60657

There seems to be a lot of angst over the financial cost of maintaining a diet full of fresh foods.  Shopping for healthy items is expensive, but next time you're shopping, keep the following research-based facts in mind.  

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirmed that the healthiest female eaters spent 24% more on groceries -- but had lower rates of angina, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. So, yes it is more expensive to eat well, but it's clearly better for one's health profile.  
Here's the real kicker: a recent analysis of previous studies that looked at the economic impact of obesity found the hit to the annual pocketbook to be $4,870 per year for obese women and $2,646 for obese men, both losses attributable to extra costs and lost income.  The stakes were raised even higher when the dollar value for lost years of life was added ($8,365 for women and $6,518 for men).  The impact of being overweight was significantly less ($24 for women and $432 for men), but still a good sum.  George Washington University researchers attributed the increased costs to higher medical bills, sick days, lost productivity and wage differences.
Do you want to invest your health by buying fresh, healthy foods now or do you want to pay for it in more serious terms later?
The link below is an article by expert Jennie McCary with strategies for shopping well on fixed costs.