University of Kentucky

Poster Title

Food Cost May Be An Incentive to Healthy Eating in Kentucky Counties

Institution

University of Kentucky

Abstract

Does the cost of healthy foods put Kentuckians at higher risk of heart disease? Eating at least five daily servings of fresh fruits and vegetables while limiting fat from red and processed meat may help reduce the risk of heart disease. However, the choices that people make when grocery shopping are often based on price rather than how much the food protects against heart disease. We compared the cost of processed meats with cost of fresh fruits and vegetables in Kentucky counties, using the Kentucky Healthy County Rankings as our guide. The counties were divided into three groups based on health ranking. Five counties were chosen randomly from each group for a total of 15 counties. The prices of 14 processed meats and 17 fresh fruits and vegetables were assessed in grocery stores in all 15 counties. We discovered that fresh fruits and vegetables had a lower cost of $0.61 per serving when compared to processed meats. This lower cost of fresh produce was the same across all counties. Fresh fruits and vegetables, which may help lower the risk of heart disease, were less expensive than processed meat products, which can increase the risk of heart disease. Further research is needed to find ways to help Kentuckians recognize and prepare affordable, risk-reducing foods available in their local grocery stores.

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Food Cost May Be An Incentive to Healthy Eating in Kentucky Counties

Does the cost of healthy foods put Kentuckians at higher risk of heart disease? Eating at least five daily servings of fresh fruits and vegetables while limiting fat from red and processed meat may help reduce the risk of heart disease. However, the choices that people make when grocery shopping are often based on price rather than how much the food protects against heart disease. We compared the cost of processed meats with cost of fresh fruits and vegetables in Kentucky counties, using the Kentucky Healthy County Rankings as our guide. The counties were divided into three groups based on health ranking. Five counties were chosen randomly from each group for a total of 15 counties. The prices of 14 processed meats and 17 fresh fruits and vegetables were assessed in grocery stores in all 15 counties. We discovered that fresh fruits and vegetables had a lower cost of $0.61 per serving when compared to processed meats. This lower cost of fresh produce was the same across all counties. Fresh fruits and vegetables, which may help lower the risk of heart disease, were less expensive than processed meat products, which can increase the risk of heart disease. Further research is needed to find ways to help Kentuckians recognize and prepare affordable, risk-reducing foods available in their local grocery stores.