Tax and Pricing Policies Spur Healthier Eating

Correlation Between Diet and Food Costs




Stokkete/Shutterstock.com

A meta-study from Tufts University, in Medford, Massachusetts, documents a revealing relationship between diet and food prices. The researchers found that taxation of unhealthy foods and price reductions of healthy foods help shift consumers to healthier purchases.

They reviewed data from 11 studies on the impact of adding tariffs to unhealthy foods that lead to higher prices and 19 studies that examined the effects on the demand of reducing the prices of healthy foods. They discovered that consumers purchased 14 percent more fruits and vegetables when prices were reduced by 10 percent. Other healthy food price reductions produced similar results, with a 16 percent increase in consumption with each 10 percent price drop.

The researchers examined the impact of increases in the price of sugary drinks and fast foods. Following 10 percent price hikes, consumption of these items decreased by 7 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

“The global food system is exacting a staggering toll on human health, and this is very costly, both in terms of real healthcare expenses and lost productivity,” says Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, senior author of the meta-study and dean of the university’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. “Our findings suggest that subsidies and taxes are a highly effective tool for normalizing the price of foods toward their true societal cost. This will both prevent disease and reduce spiraling healthcare costs, which are causing a tremendous strain on both private businesses and government budgets.”


This article appears in the July 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

An Introduction to Stem Cell Therapy

In today’s world of modern medicine, the typical recommendations of major surgery, cortisone shots and opioid supplements are taking a backseat to alternative methods that support a more holistic approach.

Metroplex Adopts United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

North Texas institutions have recently signed on to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, starting with Dallas County Community College system-wide adoption of goals.

Functional Medicine Respects Pet’s God-Given Lives

The natural approach to pet care involves preventing, or at least reducing, disease.

New Horizons in Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cells were first discovered in 1909, and have been of interest in medicine since the late 1960s.

A Smorgasbord of Healthcare Choices

At the Plano Health Fair, held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., April 22, at the Plano Event Center, participants will meet specialists licensed in Western medicine with a focus is geared toward well-being.

Add your comment: