With ten dollars, you can buy this many donuts.
And this many apples.
If you opt for the donuts, you get a lot more calories.
But not all calories are created equal.
Apples contain fiber and vitamins
while donuts are full of saturated fats and chemically
Even though apples are healthier for you,
you have to eat more of them to get the same
number of calories as one donut.
And it would cost you about five more dollars,which means…
the cost-effective choice is usually not the nutritionally-sound one.
There’s a strong relationship between diets that are low
in fruits and vegetables and obesity and diabetes.
These two chronic diseases now rank among the nation’s gravest health concerns.
Produce is essential for a healthy diet,
but Americans aren’t eating enough of it.
And part of the problem is cost.
So what can be done to add more produce to the American plate?
Fresh vegetables and fruits are often
more expensive to farm than other types of crops
that end up in processed foods.
For example, fresh strawberries have to bepicked by hand.
But strawberries destined for preserves canbe harvested by a machine.
Bumps and bruises don’t matter in the process,
and machines are more efficient and cheaper
in the long-run than human labor.
This extra work is reflected
in the price difference between fresh strawberries and
other crops, and it also makes fresh
strawberries more expensive to buy than processed strawberries
Government subsidies also play a role in thecost difference.
For example, the USDA doesn’t
subsidize leafy vegetable crops in the same way it subsidizes wheat,
soy, and corn.
These three crops make up a lot of processed food,
so products full of high-fructose corn
syrup and soybean oil have an unfair advantage.
When it comes to cost, the less nutritious food will win out.
Other incentives are needed to keep people away from cheap, processed foods.
Taxes on products on tobacco and alcohol have been effective at curbing consumption.
This line shows the average price
per pack of cigarettes over the past forty years
The rising prices are partly fueled
by federal and state cigarette tax increases in 1983,
throughout the early 2000’s, and 2009. Meanwhile,
per capita cigarette consumption(shown by this line) has steadily decreased
as prices have gone up.
And researchers are arguing that what need to start thinking
about a junk food tax.
主要针对非必需食物 如糖果 苏打水 薯片
The tax would focus on non-essential food items like candy, soda and potato chips.
These unhealthy foods would be taxed at the manufacturing level,
and higher costs at checkout
could steer customers toward healthier options.
But a junk food tax alone won’t fix obesity.
Or the already high costs of a healthy diet…
So what can be done?
We could make healthy produce sexy. Okay,
well there are other things too.
To address the cost issue,
some programs are springing up that make produce more affordable
for lower-income people, through subsidies.
And since 2014, the USDA has granted
over $ 65 million to expand these programs throughout the US.
There’s also the Fruit and Vegetable PrescriptionProgram or FvRX.
Doctors can give vouchers
for produce to low-income patients who are at high-risk of diet-related disease.
Growing produce in home or community
gardens can encourage healthy eating with little investment,
but finding time to cook, let alone garden,
can be a burden for families.
We don’t yet know which strategies and programs are work best,
but they’re worth testing
for one simple reason:
if Americans ate a wider variety of fruits
and vegetables, and more fruits and vegetables,
we know they’d be a whole lot healthier.