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Healthy Eating Costs an Extra $1.50 Per Day

December 9, 2013
ABC News Radio

If you're looking to eat healthier, it may only cost you an extra $1.50 a day.

New research comparing costs of common foods that were categorized as healthier and less healthy shows a difference adding up to about $550 a year.

Researchers analyzed 27 existing studies from 10 high-income countries that included price data for individual foods. Healthier diet patterns, such as those rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and nuts cost significantly more than unhealthy diets, like processed foods and meats, but on average, a day's worth cost $1.50 more.

The cost may be an issue for lower-income households, according to Harvard School of Public Health Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, but the health care savings make up for it.

"Diabetes costs about $100 billion a year," Mozaffarian said. "Cardiovascular disease costs about $600 billion dollars per year. That $700 billion per year is far more than all of these budget arguments that the Republicans and Democrats are fighting over."

Policies need to be implemented to help those with lower incomes, Mozaffarian explained.