The recommended daily intake for fruits and vegetables is five servings of one cup. Now, you might be thinking that five cups of fruits and vegetables a day seems like a simple task, but 80% of Americans are not able to complete this goal on a daily basis. Why? Prices of healthier foods with more fruits and vegetables tend to cost more than junk food, which include minimal amounts of fresh produce.
At almost any fast food chain you go to, you will find that healthier options cost more than unhealthier ones. As an example, at McDonald’s, a southwest salad costs $4.79 while two greasy cheeseburgers only cost $2.00. Most people will choose to get the burgers because it is more than two times cheaper, while also being greasy and much more enjoyable than a salad. Besides, many would agree that a salad is easier to make yourself than a burger. So why would anyone want to pay more for something that is easier to make? As people start to try and save money, many subconsciously go for cheaper options without really thinking about the negative impacts they come with. Not only does this pattern stand in fast food restaurants, grocery stores also have prices that influence someone’s healthier or unhealthier choices. In the food section of Target, six sugar packed applesauce cups cost $2.19, while 3-pound bag of fresh apples, containing only natural sugars, costs $3.99. If these two cost the same amount, someone who is thinking about being healthy would most likely choose the fresh apples, but because of the prices, it is quite possible that they might change their mind and go for the cheaper and more sugar-dense option.
In the past, I could have easily fallen into these traps, simply because I could get better tasting food for less money. Sounds like a win-win situation upright, but people often do not think about the consequences of the food that they put into their bodies. By being aware of this problem, people like you can slowly change their diets and think through similar decisions carefully, preventing negative impacts of unhealthy foods.