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Many Americans Can't Afford to Eat Right


Lt_Ripley

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Many Americans Can't Afford to Eat Right

By Amanda Gardner

HealthDay Reporter

2 hours, 48 minutes ago

THURSDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In this land and season of plenty, low-income and rural Americans continue to have difficulty finding healthy foods that are affordable, a new study finds.

One study shows that low-income Americans now would have to spend up to 70 percent of their food budget on fruits and vegetables to meet new national dietary guidelines for healthy eating.

And a second study found that in rural areas, convenience stores far outnumber supermarkets and grocery stores -- even though the latter carry a much wider choice of affordable, healthy foods.

"I think it's a matter of raising awareness among health professionals -- and that could be dieticians or diabetes educators or even doctors -- that when we typically give people a recommendation to eat more fruits and vegetables, that is actually so much more complicated in a rural environment," said Angela Liese, study author of the second report and an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

"There needs to be some thought given to how do you make these recommendations," Liese said.

Both studies appear in the November issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, a themed issue on poverty and human development.

New dietary guidelines recommend that Americans eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day, up from five servings in the previous guidelines.

Despite clear evidence that eating your vegetables can ward off heart disease, diabetes and cancer, only 40 percent of Americans meet the old guidelines and less than 10 percent meet the new guidelines, according to one 2006 study.

People with more money eat more fruits and vegetables than those with less money, research shows. In turn, poorer people also assume a greater disease burden relative to their wealthier counterparts.

"Eating more fruits and vegetables would reduce the disease burden. That's why we have new guidelines. The science is very solid on that," said Diana Cassady, lead author of the first study, on food pricing.

"What the profession needs to do is figure out not just the science and appropriate guidelines but how to help people meet those guidelines," said Cassady, an assistant professor of public health sciences at the University of California, Davis.

Cassady's study first calculated the average cost of a "market basket" of fruits and vegetables based on the 1995 Dietary Guidelines' Thrifty Food Plan. They then compared that cost to the cost of a basket based on the 2005 guidelines. The survey was carried out at 25 supermarkets in Sacramento and Los Angeles across three time periods, which allowed for seasonal variations in fresh produce prices.

There was some good news: the 2005 basket actually cost 4 percent less than the 1995 basket, the researchers found. Fruits and vegetables were less expensive in low-income areas and in bulk supermarkets, the researchers noted.

However, a low-income family of four would still have to spend a very large percentage of its food budget on fruits and vegetables in 2005 to meet national healthy-diet guidelines.

"Americans typically spend 15 percent of their food budget on fruits and vegetables but based on our price survey, low-income families would have to spend 40 to 70 percent of their budget on fruits and vegetables," Cassady said. "We really need to rethink what kind of educational campaigns, what kind of advice we need to give low-income families. The food stamp allocation could and probably should be increased and the government can do even better bringing in more farmers' markets and very low-cost sources of fruit and vegetables."

The other study was conducted in Orangeburg County, S.C., a rural county with a population of more than 91,000, 63 percent of whom are minority.

Some 20 percent of Americans live in rural areas but the "nutritional environment" of these areas remains under-explored, Liese's team said.

The researchers identified 77 stores in the county in 2004, of which only 16 percent were supermarkets and 10 percent were grocery stores. The remaining 74 percent were convenience stores.

There were seven stores per 100 square miles and eight stores per 10,000 county residents.

Healthy foods were more available at supermarkets and grocery stores. Low-fat/nonfat milk, apples, high-fiber bread, eggs and smoked turkey were available in 75 percent to 100 percent of supermarkets and grocery stores versus 4 percent to 29 percent of convenience stores. Just 28 percent of all stores sold any of the fruits or vegetables included in the survey -- apples, cucumbers, oranges and tomatoes. Convenience stores tended to charge more for items than did supermarkets.

"The relative availability of healthy versus unhealthy items is way out of whack, so people have much more availability of unhealthy foods," said Tom Farley, co-author of Prescription for a Healthy Nation and a professor of community health sciences at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans. "This suggests that the primary environmental reason why people have unhealthy diets is simple availability."

"There are certain things in public policy that we have the ability to influence and those we don't," Farley continued. "What goes on inside people's heads is tough to influence but we can influence what happens in stores with subsidies, financial incentives, guidelines and public pressure."

<a href="http://news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20071122/hl_hsn/manyamericanscantaffordtoeatright" target="_blank">http://news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20071122/hl_hs...ffordtoeatright</a>

what's sad is alot of people who live in these areas , like myself , have known this for years. Example - 2 small heads of brocolli - 4 dollars. ON SALE . I couldn't believe it. and that was only enough for myself for 2 days. ( and still not the recommended amount of veg intake) . 1.59 for 2 oranges !!! very sad indeed.

Edited by Lt_Ripley
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9 servings of fruit and vege?? wow- here is Australia its only 7! lol

If we want to look at pricing of food, here, you can get a packet of chips for $3:50, and a kilo of apples for the same price, usually lower.

I think it would of been good if the study compared the pricing of what food Americans intake, suich as the fatty food and compare them with the foods they should be eating- the fruits and vege.

Though it is all down to education, socio-econimal factors, morals and upbringing.

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My suspicions have been confirmed!

Bah, perhaps I should learn to live off the land some day. ;(

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what's sad is alot of people who live in these areas , like myself , have known this for years. Example - 2 small heads of brocolli - 4 dollars. ON SALE . I couldn't believe it. and that was only enough for myself for 2 days. ( and still not the recommended amount of veg intake) . 1.59 for 2 oranges !!! very sad indeed.

Yes, they can recommend all they want. Make it reasonably priced so that everyone can buy it is what they should do. That is why I have a small garden in the summer. the governments need to take another look at the reality of the situation. Reality is that many people cannot afford to eat properly.

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9 servings of fruit and vege?? wow- here is Australia its only 7! lol

If we want to look at pricing of food, here, you can get a packet of chips for $3:50, and a kilo of apples for the same price, usually lower.

I think it would of been good if the study compared the pricing of what food Americans intake, suich as the fatty food and compare them with the foods they should be eating- the fruits and vege.

Though it is all down to education, socio-econimal factors, morals and upbringing.

when a burger costs 99 cents ---------- when you can get a lb of it for 1.30 to 1.80. cheap beef and carbohydrates are cheaper = unhealthy.

Yes, they can recommend all they want. Make it reasonably priced so that everyone can buy it is what they should do. That is why I have a small garden in the summer. the governments need to take another look at the reality of the situation. Reality is that many people cannot afford to eat properly.

I had a small garden until I became to ill to care for it .... a bit of corn , peppers , melons, tomatoes ect...... I still have a couple of tomato plants. tomatoes as big as your head !!! kidding , they aren't that big .... but boy are they wonderful picked right off the vine !!!

Edited by Lt_Ripley
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9 servings of fruit and vege?? wow- here is Australia its only 7! lol

If we want to look at pricing of food, here, you can get a packet of chips for $3:50, and a kilo of apples for the same price, usually lower.

I think it would of been good if the study compared the pricing of what food Americans intake, suich as the fatty food and compare them with the foods they should be eating- the fruits and vege.

Though it is all down to education, socio-econimal factors, morals and upbringing.

Damn Edna eats 9 fruits a day doesnt she, seen the ad?

In the N.T for a 1kg bag of apples its like $4.99.

A mini cheese burger costs $3.20

A punnet of strawberries is $4.95, in QLD 1 punnet is $1.99,(lucky ducks)

Education about healthy eating is very important. The Government for Education should consider this.

Oh and the price of tomatoes here are absolutely outrages!

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The only way the wife and I can afford to keep our food bill so inexpensive and healthy is that we shop at discount grocery stores(they have a lot of discontinued things from big name stores) for a lot of what we buy; we live in a rural area so we can pick up fresh fruits and veggies fairly inexpensively at our local farmers markets. We buy cheap in the summer and can and jar stuff for the winter. We buy in bulk at discount stores when we find good prices on things.

It is rare that we go to the big name grocery store, as they relatively expensive...I dont know how folks in a big city could do it. If a big mac is .99, and a head of lettuce is 2.00, there is not much decision making there...It takes a lot of planning and shopping to create an inexpensive healthy meal; fast food never will do it for me. When I travel, I cant eat well at all, it is really hard...even at restaurants it is difficult to eat right and the prices are out the window.

There was a time when one parent was at home and took a lot of time planning and preparing meals and could do so and save a lot of money, now that both parents(if there are both parents) work, there is no time for such things and parents end up buying pizzas or big macs for the families. It is not only expensive, but horribly unhealthy. It is sad, and by looking at the waistline of our country it is apparant that it isnt working.

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This isn't anything new. It's such a shame that healthy foods are so expensive. Carbohydrates are a poor persons enemy. Cheap and filling. I lived on .99 cent boxes of macaroni and baked potatoes so long I lost count. You can't eat any cheaper than that.

One of my favourite stores, of course it has to be 80 miles away, is Aldes. You can get two buggies full of food for under $100 dollars, and it will easily last a month. Fruits and vegetables too.

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I think alot has to do with where you live. up north I was paying much more for food, there were only two super markets Shaws and Stop and Shop. in the south theres three Bi-Lo, Harris Teeters and food lion along with Cosco and Walmart super stores my weekly grocery bill is 50 dollars less then it was up north Walmart in the south vs Shaw's up north. I even have ample funds to feed the stray cats!!! I also think the comodity prices have an effect on some things such as oreangs and coffee beans because of the U.S. dollar. what gets me is the price of milk, my god, gas is cheaper and its mined and imported from Canada and countries in the middle east shipped to the U.S., brought to oil refineries to be refined to gas then shipped to local gastations and whula

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The only way the wife and I can afford to keep our food bill so inexpensive and healthy is that we shop at discount grocery stores(they have a lot of discontinued things from big name stores) for a lot of what we buy; we live in a rural area so we can pick up fresh fruits and veggies fairly inexpensively at our local farmers markets. We buy cheap in the summer and can and jar stuff for the winter. We buy in bulk at discount stores when we find good prices on things.

It is rare that we go to the big name grocery store, as they relatively expensive...I dont know how folks in a big city could do it. If a big mac is .99, and a head of lettuce is 2.00, there is not much decision making there...It takes a lot of planning and shopping to create an inexpensive healthy meal; fast food never will do it for me. When I travel, I cant eat well at all, it is really hard...even at restaurants it is difficult to eat right and the prices are out the window.

There was a time when one parent was at home and took a lot of time planning and preparing meals and could do so and save a lot of money, now that both parents(if there are both parents) work, there is no time for such things and parents end up buying pizzas or big macs for the families. It is not only expensive, but horribly unhealthy. It is sad, and by looking at the waistline of our country it is apparant that it isnt working.

What's hard for me, is that I make just about everything from scratch and expect my daughter to eat healthy...then she goes to her dad's where they order out or go out for food. It is all deep fried junk! If they can pay that much for take out, they can bloody well go out and buy some salads. I have to make teach her what not to eat at her dad's! I make salads and she loves them and no creamy dressing, homemade Greek dressing. I have to buy what I can afford on paydays, but there are some things that I will always buy-apples, lettuce and salad fixings. Pasta is a treat, we eat a lot of brown rice and I buy what meat is on sale and freeze it. There are ways to scrimp and get proper nutrition, but, you have to give up on other things to get the healthy food.

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That's really bad that rubbish food is cheaper that nutritious food. Its quite hard to change your tastebuds when your older as well so kids who grow up with eating badly will find it hard to switch when they are older. Like did anyone see that Jamie Olivers school dinners?

Where I live in Australia vegies aren't too bad - which is good because my partner and I are vegan! And I don't find we spend any more on food than our non-vegan friends.

Edited by Betsy
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Removed, changed my mind,

Edited by stevewinn
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There are times that I find myself going to two supermarkets to get the best deals, especially on produce...And let's face it, the prices always go up around the holidays...I see more and more people having gardens, and doing their own canning for the Winter...Who can blame them...And as Fluffybunny said, there was a time when meals were given much thought...With single parents, running kids around, getting homework done it's no wonder fast food restaurants will never go out of business...When we buy apples, oranges, etc...we peel, cut them and put them in snack bags in the fridge...This way the kids know, that the junk food is out and they help themselves...Doesn't always work, but it was a start...

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the elite saw all their banking investments go belly up..all thats left is gouging the consumer on food & energy prices...the run ups on goods in the US are similar to germany in the late 30's...unless you plan well and budget; these could be hard times to put a balanced meal on the table...

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9 servings of fruit and vege?? wow- here is Australia its only 7! lol

If we want to look at pricing of food, here, you can get a packet of chips for $3:50, and a kilo of apples for the same price, usually lower.

I think it would of been good if the study compared the pricing of what food Americans intake, suich as the fatty food and compare them with the foods they should be eating- the fruits and vege.

Though it is all down to education, socio-econimal factors, morals and upbringing.

Only 5 in the UK :mellow: Although, we were taught a handful was one serving - with large fruits like apples as 2 per day.

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would I even tell what is our situation here on the Philippines?

probably not...

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would I even tell what is our situation here on the Philippines?

probably not...

yeah really...the poor americans the most over weight people

should be ashamed when other countrys cant even afford to eat

Somalia & Kenya may have no food soon Locusts Infest Mandera District

200 families who depended on cultivation of vegetables and some cereals

had lost their crops to the locusts and will be in need of assistance soon

link to a real black friday :( americans need to count are blessing now and wake up dont be wasteful

http://allafrica.com/stories/200711230993.html

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would I even tell what is our situation here on the Philippines?

probably not...

This is another anti-american thread is all...world hunger is a big problem ..big mac eating fools shouldnt get any sympathy...

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yeah really...the poor americans the most over weight people

should be ashamed when other countrys cant even afford to eat

Somalia & Kenya may have no food soon Locusts Infest Mandera District

200 families who depended on cultivation of vegetables and some cereals

had lost their crops to the locusts and will be in need of assistance soon

link to a real black friday :(americans need to count are blessing now and wake up dont be wasteful<a href="http://allafrica.com/stories/200711230993.html" target="_blank">http://allafrica.com/stories/200711230993.html</a>

not just americans either

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not just americans either

I think bob and ripley are having an anti-american showdown..this threads just a victim of it...

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not just americans either

Tru Dat...

...Hell, I was in the city a few days ago. 12 fat people in mcdonalds gorging on big macs... It's a pity they have to sit near the window, it's disgusting to walk by...

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I don't know where people are shopping to make it too expensive to eat right? It is much easier and cheaper to eat healthier. You just have to watch what you buy and stop impulse buying. Buy things on special. If banana's are too expensive one week, buy the apples and vice versa. In the long run, you will spend more money on healthcare if you don't take care of yourself in the first place. I think it's laziness. I've been in the hole a few times, waaaaaaaaay back when, but, I managed to eat properly. Certainly I couldn't eat the more expensive fruits ie: Mangoes etc, but I got my vitamins. There are so many options out there. Unless of course it's a matter of availability. That's a different story. It would be hard to keep a budget if the cheaper places were far away.

Bon Appetit :)

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