You are on page 1of 8

Healthy or

wealthy?
By: Alika Hidayat

Nowadays its considered hip to


be vegan or vegetarian. Veganism
has taken over Hollywood and
continues to become more and
more mainstream. Eating healthy
is heavily influenced on social
media such as Tumblr, Instagram,
and YouTube. Celebrities like
Ariana Grande, Ellen DeGeneres,
and Ellie Goulding have made the
lifestyle change. Dont you think
these big pop stars have the
influence to convince young teens
to eat healthy? Its harder than
you think because the cost of it is
not so sweet. Healthy food has
been known to cost significantly
more than unhealthy food. Being
healthy doesnt necessarily means
eating a vegan diet. A healthy diet
include whole fruits, dark greens,
red vegetable, low fat, fat free
dairy, a variety of protein sources,
and whole grains. Ariana and Ellen
could afford it because they make
millions but to an average family
of four its a lot harder. Eating a

healthy diet the first priority for a


working families who have to pay
for bills, clothes, transportation,
and other urgent things to pay for.
Is it really necessary to pay tons
of money on food?

What is the
problem/topic?
To eat or not to eat is the
question. According to Harvard, it
cost about $1.50 more per day to
eat healthy than to not eat
healthy (2013). It seems like a
small amount when you first thing
about it but over the course of the
year it will increase to $550/day
for one person. That sounds like a
nightmare for a working family of
four. However, the cost doesnt
amount to the economic cost of
obesity and other chronic disease
which can be reduced by a
healthy diet. In comparison the
Health Conscious (the most
nutrient) diet cost $11.21 per day
and the Monofonus Low Quality
Omnivore diet (the most nutrient
poor) cost which cost $5.56 per
day (Kobayshi, 2014). If you want
the cleanest, plant-based diet like
Ariana Grande, its going to cost

$3009.58/year for one person


over the course of the year. As
you can see thats significantly
more than just eating a healthy
diet and a way more than eating
an unhealthy diet. The problem is
simply this: break the bank to live
a healthy life or eating your way
to a slow and painful death.

What is causing the


issue?
The reason the number of obesity
in the United States is increasing
is because in Jack in the Box their
tacos are two for 99 cents when
their salads are $4.99. Its
inevitable for the kids to choose

the burger because of its low


price. One study shows that
grains, vegetables, fruit, and dairy
foods (foods low in calories) are
less expensive than most protein
foods and foods high in saturated
fat, added sugar/sodium when
measured on the average portion
size (Carlson and Frazo, 2012).
Basically what its saying is that
foods with low calories are proven
to be higher in cost. This is one of
the reasons why most kids in
America dont have a healthy diet
because its cheaper to buy a
burger than a salad. Theyre
purchasing these fatty dense
foods from companies who make
their products in factories.
According to another source
unhealthy diets cost less because
food policies have focused on the
production of inexpensive, high
volume commodities (Fledscher,
2013). These companies arent
growing their foods organically
because it cost more money.
These companies, such as
McDonalds or Jack in the Box,
already have people loving their
foods, so they mass produce to
make more for less. Its called fast
food for a reason: theyre making

foods faster inexpensively.


McDonald's logo is Im loving it
but Im not loving the way I feel
after I eat it.

What are the


impacts to local
communities?
Imagine not being able to buy
fresh produce nearby. For low
income communities its harder to
purchase fresh groceries because
a few of them dont even have a
full-service grocery store or
farmers market. Even when
healthy food is available its more
expensive and is often poorer in
quality. Households with limited
resources often try to save money
by purchasing cheap, energydense foods that are filing to
maximize their calories per dollars
in order to starve off hunger
(DiSantis et al., 2013;

Drewnowski, 2009; Edin et al.,


2013). The cost of healthy food is
impacting local communities by
not giving these people the
nutrients they need, which
ultimately will impact their health.
Low-income communities have
greater availability of fast food
restaurants, especially near
schools (Fleischhacker et al.,
2011; Hilmers et al., 2012;
Kestens & Daniels, 2010). Instead
of farmers market and Sprouts
theyre putting McDonalds and
Wendys. People living in the
communities are probably having
breakfast from the $1 menu from
McDonalds instead of eating eggs
and fruits in the morning. These
types of food tend to have lower
nutritional value, but when youre
in a budget it doesnt really
matter. The increase of fast food
will increase the number of
obesity in that community. Almost
two-thirds of adult Americans are
obese. We dont need to add more
people.

What are the


impacts to personal
health?

What are current


solutions?

Is being healthy important? Well


obviously! Its as simple as this: to
be healthy we need to eat healthy
food. Study shows that what you
eat can affect your immune
system, your mood and your
energy level (Breast Cancer
Organization, 2014). Eating junk
food has proven to make you feel
sluggish and weak. In addition,
the better you eat, the better you
feel. We should eat lots of greens
and fresh fruits to keep our body
energize and strong. Fruits and
vegetables are essential for
vitamins and nutrients (eXtension,
2015). Since fruits and vegetables
are proven to be more expensive
than a bag of potato chips, its
more tempting for us to buy the
bag of chips instead. We need to
remember that what we put inside
our body affects the outside of our
body. Havent you ever heard of
the phrase You are what you
eat? Well its true and I dont
want to look like a greasy
hamburger.

It might sound scary but there are


currently not a lot of solutions to
this problem. The truth is not a lot
of research has been dedicated to
this topic. One source says that
an accurate method to analyze
the cost of foods have not been
available (eXtension, 2015). This
means we cant solve a problem if
we cant pinpoint exactly why its
happening. Although, there is a lot
of evidence proving that foods low
in calories tend to be more
expensive than unhealthy food.
According to an article, as long as
companies continue making their
products flavorful, nutrient poor,
cheap-to-produce foods for profit,
this problem will not go away
(Kobayshi, 2014). If companies
continue producing and selling
cheap, unhealthy, consumers will
continue to buy it. These
companies want money and
selling flavorful foods high in
calories is the way to do that;
especially to teenagers. Overall,
this topic needs to be highlighted

more because the impact it can


give is overwhelming.

What are some tips


to save money/eat
healthy?
No worries my friend because
there are a couple solutions that
we came up with to help with this
problem. First and foremost
educate yourself. A lot of people
think, to eat healthy you need to
buy a lot of superfoods.
Superfoods are not essential
(Kobayshi, 2014). There are foods
you can purchase thats
inexpensive but still low in
calories: for example broccoli. It
contains chlorophyll, vitamin A, C,
and E, iron, and calcium and
theyre considered cheap. Also
buy lots of fruits that are in
season. If berries are in season,
theyre going to be selling a lot for
very little and on the right sides,
the fruits will most likely be sweet
since theyre in season. People
tend to spend more money on
protein when you only need a
small amount of it. You should be
buying more leafy greens and
juicy fruits than red meat. Another
important tip is to stop buying
junk food. If you want to save

money then stop buying foods


that could kill you. Once in a while
its okay to buy a donut, but you
shouldnt buy too much of it.
Overall, you should choose food
that meet the Dietary Guideline
within your budget.

In the end, its not necessary to


spend all your money on eating
healthy. Its important to have a
balanced diet and by that I dont

mean having two cookie on each


hand. I mean having a diet full of
nutrients and minerals. These are
the things we should be planting
inside our bodies so we can grow
to be healthy and strong.
Although not all of us are

Grammy-nominated artist, it is
still possible to buy healthy food.
It just takes commitment and a
little bit of planning. Consider it a
lifestyle change. It might sound a
little alarming but it can be done.
Eating healthy can cost you

money but eating unhealthy can


cost you your life. You know what
they say, the greatest wealth is
health.

Reference
[A burger thats .99 cents and salad thats $4.99]. Retrieved from
http://images1.friendseat.com/2013/12/burger-versus-salad-meme.png

Breast Cancer Organization. (2014). What Does Healthy Eating Mean? Retrieved from
http://www.breastcancer.org/tips/nutrition/healthy_eat

Carson, A., & Frazo, E., (2012). Are Healthy Food Really More Expensive? It Depends on How You Measure the Price.

Retrieved from http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/600474/eib96.pdf

[Comparing an organic peach with a processed peach]. Retrieved from


http://eatyourselfwell.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/peachesfinal.png

[Eat healthy on the cheap chart]. Retrieved from https://de.pinterest.com/pin/532972937125045460/

eXtension. (2015). Is It Really More Expensive to Eat Healthier? Retrieved from


http://articles.extension.org/pages/72579/is-it-really-more-expensive-to-eat-healthier

Fledscher, K., (2013). Pinpointing the higher cost of a healthy diet. Retrieved from
http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2013/12/pinpointing-the-higher-cost-of-a-healthy-diet/

Harvard T.C. Chan. Eating healthy vs. unhealthy diet cost $1.50 more per day. Retrieved from

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/healthy-vs-unhealthy-diet-costs-1-50-more/
[Keep calm and eat healthy]. Retrieved from http://emmaolliff.com/eat-way-better-health/

Kobayshi, L., (2014). Public Health Perspective. Retrieved from http://blogs.plos.org/publichealth/2014/08/04/diet-cost/

[You are what you eat so dont be fast, cheap, easy cake]. Retrieved f

http://www.google.com/url?

sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjj2KDM2MXKAhVJ6WMKHcFBDwkQjB0IBg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.phillymag.com
%2Fbe-well-philly%2F2014%2F12%2F02%2F10-healthy-eating-quotes-youll-want-put-fridge-stat
%2F&psig=AFQjCNG4dFv09q9_1zNlX9vIcVm3zrNpXQ&ust=1453836301044476