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Study: Discount healthy foods to improve diets

Reducing the cost of healthy foods in supermarkets and retail outlets increases the amount of healthy fruits, vegetables and whole grains that people eat while lowering consumption of foods with low nutritional value, say researchers at RAND Corporation South Africa.

The objective of their study was to examine whether reducing prices for healthy food purchases leads to changes in self-reported measures of food consumption and weight status. The research team carried out repeated surveys of about 350,000 participants of the Healthy Food program and of nonparticipants. The results show that program participation is associated with more consumption of fruits/vegetables and whole-grain foods and less consumption of high sugar/salt foods, fried foods, processed meats, and fast food. There is however no strong evidence that participation reduces obesity. The conclusion from the study is that a substantial price intervention might be effective in improving diets.

Citation as follows

An R,  Patel D,  Segal D,  Sturm R (2013). Eating Better for Less: A National Discount Program for Healthy Food Purchases in South Africa.  American Journal of Health Behavior, 37, 1

DOI:  10.5993/AJHB.37.1.6

To read the full study, click here.

For more information see also the Food Navigator’s article on the report here.

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