The Department of Agriculture United States reported in a study that most fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods that cost less food with high content of fat, sugar and salt.
This conclusion is opposed to the general perception among some people that is cheaper than a junk food diet with balanced nutrition.
The government says that everything depends on how you measure the price. If you compare the price per calorie as some researchers have done above, then the high-calorie pastries and snacks industrialized might seem like a bargain compared to fruits and vegetables.
But balanced against the cost of food by weight or portion is that the grains, vegetables, fruits and dairy products are less expensive than most meats or foods with high amounts of saturated fat, sugar or salt.
Accordingly, bananas, carrots, lettuce and beans are less expensive per serving than potato chips, soft drinks, ice cream or ground beef.
“Using price per calorie does not tell us how much food you take or how you will feel full,” said Andrea Carlson, who is the author of the study and researcher at the Economic Research Service of the Department of Agriculture.
For example, eating a chocolate donut covered with 240 calories may not satisfy, but it could make a banana has 105 calories.
For comparisons, scientists from the department took the average national price system of Nielsen Homescan, which surveyed a group of families who recorded all food purchases at retail stores for a year.
The cost of eating healthy foods has been the subject of intense debate, at a time when experts warn Americans about the dangers of obesity. More than a third of American adults are obese, according to the government, but researchers fear that the number increases to 42% by 2030.
“Cheap food that provides few nutrients may actually be ‘face’ to the consumer from the perspective of nutritional economy, since the food with a higher retail price that provides large quantities of nutrients can actually be rather cheap,” the department said in the study.
The Agriculture Department document criticized a 2010 report by researchers at the University of Washington, which said that junk food is cheaper per calorie calorie to low-income people that healthy foods.
The director of the Nutritional Sciences Program at the University of Washington and lead author of the report, Adam Drewnowski, defended the conclusions of his study of a healthier system usually costs more and insisted that removes junk food hunger. “And that is why people buy, especially low-income people.”