Investing in nutrition saves money on health care later on

October 4, 2017

Experts are advising the public to invest in healthy food choices so they may avoid costly medical care later on.

Obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes are today’s epidemics and are tied to poor eating choices. However, eating healthy is expensive. Poor households tend to purchase lower-quality and less expensive food to make the food last. The lack of access to healthy food is called food insecurity. It can have negative consequences on people’s health.

Pregnant women who are food insecure are more likely to develop gestational diabetes and deliver pre-term or low birth-weight babies. Children living in food-insecure homes suffer two to four times as many health problems and are less likely to reach their academic potential.Food-insecure adults are more likely to have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease and osteoporosis.

The problem continues when those affected by illnesses due to food insecurity have to manage their illness: one in three Americans with chronic illness has trouble affording food, medication or both. Moreover, the stress of worrying about where your next meal is coming from is associated with depressive symptoms, which only makes the task of managing a complex disease harder. It is not surprising, then, that food insecurity comes with a cost. On average, food insecure people in the U.S. incur an extra US$1,800 in medical costs every year, accounting for US$77.5 billion in additional health care expenditures.



Category: Features, Wellness and Complementary Therapies

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