Researchers Investigate If Lower Prices Can Help Fight Obesity Epidemic – Erin Billups

 – December 29, 2013  –– 

Healthier food options like fresh fruits and vegetables usually cost more than processed meals and snacks. The steep cost can be a hindrance to people trying to eat more of it. Researchers at St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals’ New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center monitored the food purchases of 47 overweight customers, who were given special loyalty cards that sliced the price of fruits, vegetables, diet soda and bottled water in half. "With a 50 percent discount, participants purchased three times as many fruits and vegetables as they did before the discount, and they consumed about 50 percent more," says Allan Geliebter, Ph.D., New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center. Study participants kept track of their body weight and eating habits and researchers concluded even when the prices of fresh fruit and vegetables went back up, many continued to buy healthier food.  Researchers hope eventually to do a study with 300 participants, with the ultimate goal of illustrating the need for policy intervention.
-Dr. Allan Geleibter, Psychologist, St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center
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