Governments could boost the consumption of healthy food by making it cheaper, as well as requiring that unhealthier food be more expensive, a new review suggests.
The findings are based on an analysis of 30 studies. Eleven studies looked at what happened when unhealthier foods were taxed. Nineteen studies explored what people choose to eat when subsidies lowered the price of healthier food. The collection of studies found that food prices really do matter.
“Our results show how 10 percent to 50 percent changes in price of foods and beverages at checkout could influence consumers’ purchasing behaviors over a relatively short period of time,” said study co-first author Ashkan Afshin, a former postdoctoral fellow at Tufts University in Boston. He is now at the University of Washington.
While a majority of Americans consume processed foods and fast foods on a regular basis, new studies suggest that if healthier foods were made cheaper, people would ultimately make healthy food choices and decrease their fast food consumption. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 850-0900.