Study confirms eating healthy can be expensive

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A new study confirms what some have been saying all along: eating healthy is expensive.

One needs only look as far as some of the advertising for the government's new food recommendations -- a plate of salmon, arugula and rice pilaf isn't something the average poor family is likely to see on the dinner table.

The study by the University of Washington estimated that adding enough potassium to a diet to meet the federal guidelines would likely add $380 a year to the average consumer's food costs.

High-potassium foods include potatoes, bananas, lima and pinto beans.

While food assistance programs are providing coupons to buy fruits and vegetables, one of the researchers said, a Washington state policy made it difficult to buy potatoes with food assistance coupons for women and children.

Education can help, but it's tough to compete with food that's high in salt, sugar, fat and flavor, and is conveniently dispensed at an affordable price on the street corner.

Until healthy food is able to compete with those factors, it will be fighting a losing battle.

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