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Produce Prices and Our Health

According to researchers in the U.K. and at Tufts University, lowering the price of fruits and vegetables could save about 200,000 lives over 15 years! These findings were revealed during the annual American Heart Association Epidemiology Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona this past week. Using the U.S. IMPACT Food Policy Model, researchers were able to model how a change in the price of produce could impact consumption.

The model predicted that lower prices would lead to better health across ethnicity, race and gender and that lower prices could save lives by lowering death rates from heart disease and stroke! The researchers also believe that lower prices could be more effective than the "5 A Day" Campaign in increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.

Similar benefits were found in the Healthy Incentives Pilot Program that provided participating SNAP recipients with an incentive for purchasing fruits and vegetables. Participants in the program received 30 cents for every dollar spent on fruits and vegetables. The incentive funds could only be spent on fruits and vegetables. The USDA found that participants in the pilot program were more likely to consume fruits and vegetables than SNAP recipients that were not participating.

Overall, it seems that the best way to encourage fruit and vegetable consumption is to make fruits and vegetables more affordable! What do you think about this? Do you think that produce prices should be lowered? The benefits have been demonstrated but what are the implications of lowering prices? How will farmers be impacted? Let me know what you think below via Facebook Comments!!

Interested in eating more fruits and vegetables? Check out the Recipes page for tasty ideas!


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