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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Healthy Eating – A Luxury That Should Be Available to All

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We are all constantly bombarded with information informing us of the dangers of sugar, fast
foods, and chemically processed foods. We are all well aware of the benefits of eating healthier
alternatives, such as fruits and vegetables, salads, and meats that are made from chemical free
livestock. So, with all the knowledge we have that proves the benefits of a healthy diet, why is it
that nearly 40% of US adults are obese, and less than 20% attain recommendations for fruits
and vegetables?

Unfortunately, as in most cases, the answer is money. According to a review published by David
Kern, PhD, adjunct faculty member of Drexel’s Dornsife School of Public Health, and Amy
Auchincloss, PhD, and associate professor of the same school, healthier perishable foods were
nearly twice as expensive as unhealthy packaged foods: 60 cents vs. 31 cents per serving,
respectively.

In another article by Jason Rehel of The National Post, it was concluded that a healthy diet
costs $2,000 a year more, for an average family of four. The impact of this on lower income
families, and minorities in particular, has been catastrophic. According to the CDC, the
percentages of adults with diagnosed high blood pressure are as follows; blacks 56%, whites
48%, and hispanics 39%. Of that group, the percentages recommended to receive medication
are whites 32%, blacks and hispanics 25%. A strange statistic; considering that whites are
recommended to receive medication 7% more than blacks and hispanics, yet are diagnosed 8%
less than blacks. In the case of diabetes, the percentage of adults diagnosed are as follows;
blacks 12.1%, hispanics 11.8%, and whites 7.4%. Out of that percentage, people with an
income below the federal poverty line constitute the greatest number, with 13.7% of men and
14.4% of women diagnosed. The mortality rate for diabetes in the US breakdown as follows;
blacks 39.6%, hispanics 27.1%, and whites 18.25.

Clearly, we can see a discrepancy in the availability of healthy foods and the consequences of
healthy foods not being made affordable; but, we don’t have to research data to see that there is
a problem. Just go to any inner city in America and visit one of the many corner stores or
bodegas. You’ll be sure to find plenty of chips, soda, cakes, etc. Not much in the way of
healthier choices, unfortunately. It’s a sad commentary on a country as wealthy as this one that
it can’t figure out a way to make it so that healthier foods are cheaper and made available to all,
regardless of income.

Photo by felixangana from PxHere

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